North America to Hold the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Reuters

Having been drawn in Group B alongside Spain, Portugal and Morocco it'll be a very tough task for Iran to secure even second spot and qualify from their group, however they will be doing all they can to progress through the group stages and into the knockout phase for the first time in their history at the tournament.

Ahead of tomorrow's World Cup in Russia, FIFA has announced that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada have won a joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup, reports NBC. After controversy surrounded the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russian Federation and the 2022 finals in Qatar, the vote was the first to be decided by the FIFA congress.

Every World Cup needs the host nation to energise the population, and Russian Federation have ticked that box with this result. Mexico played host to the 1970 and 1986 World Cup.

Gazinskiy headed in Golovin's cross to score the first goal of the 2018 event, with Dzagoev's replacement Cheryshev lashing in the second before the interval.

According to Canada Soccer, today's vote marks the first time three nations have been selected to co-host a FIFA World Cup and the first time the FIFA World Cup will be played in North America in 32 years.

VERDICT: Russia win in a low-quality game.

Perhaps the hosts aren't quite as bad as has been feared.

In a barbed reference to his critics, Putin claimed "sport is beyond politics" and Russian Federation has always had "close ties with those who see the incredible potential for human development" that events like the World Cup present.

2018 러시아 월드컵 드디어 막을 올린다 The wait is finally over for Football fans around the world.

Saudi Arabia's route to the knockout round is much more hard.

Speaking in Russian, Putin thanked Federation Internationale de Football Association for being "one big team" that has helped Russia prepare for the "most significant event in global sport".

With their squad all based in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's lack of exposure to games against the elite is another problem they have to overcome to have any hope of competing at this level in the future.

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