JEDDAH: The head of US football thanked Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for supporting North America’s winning bid to host the World Cup in 2026.
Carlos Cordeiro, President of the US Soccer Federation, expressed gratitude to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turki Al-Sheikh, head of the Kingdom’s sports authority, in backing the joint bid to host one of the world’s premier tournaments.
The US, Mexico and Canada edged out to underdogs Morocco in a vote of FIFA member nations in Moscow.
“I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and my good friend His Excellency Turki Al-Sheikh for your tremendous support of the United bid,” said Cordeiro.
“United States (is) working together with Canada and Mexico for the United bid, for your advice and your support. We were victorious today in Moscow we look forward to hosting the 2026 World Cup in North America and to receiving you and many of your fans and citizens in 2026,” Cordeiro added.
The joint North American bid defeated their north African rival by a margin of 69 votes, 134 to 65, to win the right to organise the first World Cup to be expanded to 48 teams.
The result at the FIFA Congress on the eve of the 2018 tournament means global football’s showpiece event will return to the North American continent for the first time since the United States hosted it in 1994.
Bid leader Cordeiro said his team was “humbled” by the result and predicted the tournament would put football “on a new and sustainable path for generations to come”.