CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — After 32 years, the World Cup will return to the U.S. in 2026, but Chicago won’t host any games of the soccer tournament this time around.
The North American bid to host the 2026 Wrorld Cup beat out Morocco on Wednesday, in a landslide 134-65 vote by FIFA, soccer’s governing body. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada had submitted a joint bid to host the World Cup in 2026, when the tournament will expand from 32 teams to 48.
The 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams playing a total of 80 games — 60 planned across 10 U.S. cities, and 10 games in three cities for each of Canada and Mexico.
Potential host cities include New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City, and Montreal; but not Chicago, after the Windy City pulled out of the North American bid.
The last time the U.S. hosted the World Cup was 1994, when Soldier Field was the site of five games, and also hosted the opening ceremony, emceed by Oprah Winfrey.
In 2026, however, there won’t be any official World Cup festivities in Chicago, after Mayor Rahm Emanuel pulled out of the North American bid in March.
“FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk. The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests,” the mayor’s office said at the time.
FIFA insists that contracts with host cities contain a provision they be governed under Swiss law and give FIFA the ability to modify agreements at any time.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)