The 2026 World Cup is officially coming to the United States, Mexico and Canada, and a joint statement Wednesday indicates Denver will push to host matches in the quadrennial global soccer tournament.
"We knew we had their support", Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association and Canada's bid director, said in an interview. Several hotels around the metro would host teams and FIFA VIPs during the tournament. Canada has never hosted a men's World Cup but held the women's tournament in 2015. US will regroup in the coming years and attempt to clinch a spot in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before turning its attention to home pursuits.
"Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026", Carlos Cordiero, the president of US Soccer told the delegates from more than 200 member nations following the vote. The United States is likely to have 10 cities selected to host games, while Mexico and Canada are expected to each have three.
It will also be celebrated in football-crazy Mexico, which hosted the World Cup in 1970 and in 1986 - the tournament remembered for Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal.
Sixty of the 80 games will take place domestically, including every match from the quarterfinals onward, with Kansas City listed as one of the potential hosting cities for the largest sports tournament in the world.
The final North American host cities could be announced as late as 2021, according to the statement.
Morocco's presentation took some not-so-subtle shots at the USA, highlighting the fact that guns are banned in Morocco and stating that during the 1994 World Cup even world-renowned soccer stars were unknown in America.
It's also hard not to see, in the eight years leading up to the tournament, cities fighting to host games much as they are competing to attract Amazon's second headquarters, vying to show investment in the sport outside of the event itself. Pat Toomey, who was among a bipartisan group of 43 senators who urged President Trump to support the bid.
He reportedly wrote letters to bid officials ensuring that "all eligible athletes, officials and fans from all countries around the world would be able to enter the United States without discrimination".
The Koreans voted for Morocco rather than the winning joint bid of the U.S., Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup.
"In this case, the province has a key decision to make before we can move forward."
Separately, a decision at the Federation Internationale de Football Association congress on whether the Qatar tournament would be expanded from 32 to 48 teams was put off. Mr Infantino said no vote could take place until discussions had taken place with the organisers of the 2022 tournament.
The exact cities that will host games is something that will be decided in the coming years.
Los Angeles is practically a lock to be a World Cup host city, and while the Inglewood stadium will be newer, the 92,000-seat Rose Bowl is the stadium in consideration.