Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup as personal guest of Vladimir Putin

Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup as personal guest of Vladimir Putin

Vancouver, which hosted the 2015 Women's World Cup final, will not be participating in the 2026 bid. FIFA's pre-vote inspection reports had awarded Morocco 2.7 out of 5 as potential host with North America scored a 4.

CONCACAF, whose president - Canadian Victor Montagliani - played a key role in the bid, called the vote a "monumental victory" for the confederation that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The North American countries won with 134 votes, or 67 percent, against an upstart campaign from Morocco, which garnered 65 votes, in the Wednesday morning vote in Moscow.

Russian Federation selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara. It will also be the first tournament to be hosted by three countries, Goal reported.

The U.S. metro areas in the running are Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), Baltimore (M&T Bank Stadium), Boston (Gillette Stadium), Cincinnati (Paul Brown Stadium), Dallas (AT&T Stadium), Denver (Sports Authority Field), Houston (NRG Stadium), Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium), Los Angeles (Rose Bowl and the new National Football League stadium), Miami (Hard Rock Stadium), Nashville (Nissan Stadium), New York (MetLife Stadium), Orlando (Camping World Stadium), Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field), San Jose (Levi's Stadium), Seattle (Century Link Field) and Washington (FedEx Field).

If the united North American bid is successful, it would be the first time Canada will partake in hosting the men's World Cup tournament. The congress is to choose the host or hosts for the 2026 World Cup. "Our cities are ready to host today", said John Kristick, executive director of the United Bid Committee.

It will be the first World Cup tournament held across three nations, featuring an expanded field of 48 teams and a record 80 matches.

Other cities on the list are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Edmonton, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Monterrey, Montreal, Nashville, New York/NewJersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, DC. The tournament will still take place over 32 days.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be glad to host everyone in Moscow, when asked if he would invite high-ranking US officials.

FIFA's hosting selection process was revamped in the wake of recent scandals enveloping the world governing body of soccer.

The United Bid is expected to generate more than $14 billion in revenue and $11 billion in profits for FIFA, which will be shared with the 211 FIFA Member Associations, helping further develop and expand the game of football across the globe.

The key number is 104 but there is also the weird and unprecedented scenario where both bids get rejected.

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