FIFA is holding its annual congress on Wednesday. The biggest item on the agenda is the vote to award the hosting rights to the 2026 World Cup. There are only two announced candidates: a combined North American bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada, and a solo offering from Morocco.
A detailed outline of the balloting procedure can be found on Fifa’s website, but the CliffsNotes version is as follows: each of Fifa’s member federations one equally weighted vote on the first ballot for one of three options 1) the United Bid, 2) Morocco or 3) None of the Bids. Should either North America or Morocco receive a simple majority of all votes cast, it will be awarded rights to host the 2026 World Cup outright.
If there’s no simple majority on the first ballot, one of two scenarios will ensue: 1) if enough “None of the Bids” votes are cast to prevent either North America or Morocco from surpassing the 50% threshold, the vote will go to a second ballot with the abstention option eliminated, or 2) if the number of “None of the Bids” votes equals or surpasses the combined total of votes for North America or Morocco, then both bids will be thrown out and the bidding process reopened to all eligible Fifa members except for the United States, Canada, Mexico and Morocco – a highly unlikely scenario but one worth mentioning.
Our Martha Kelner, on the ground in Moscow, reports that at least 201 of Fifa’s 211 member associations will take place in today’s vote. The four bidding nations will not take part (per usual), while Morocco has lobbied for Fifa to exclude the US-governed territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands due to a perceived conflict of interest (though it’s unclear at this point whether they will indeed abstain). Additionally, Ghana has not sent a representative. Kosovo, whose attendance was in question due to the recent death of their FA’s president, are here and will be voting.