World Cup odds and matchups for opening week of action

Friday, 15 Jun, 2018

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from NY, said: "While the official name of the bid is United 2026, the three potential host nations are right now anything but united".

Australia spent $50 million trying to win the 2022 event but received only a single vote.

Both will also be hoping for victory at the Luzhniki to end a barren run at the global finals: Russian Federation have not won at the World Cup since 2002, while Saudi Arabia's last global finals' victory came at United States of America 1994.

Although it would be the first tournament to be hosted by three nations, the vast majority of games will be held in the US.

Brazil's Pele is the only player to win three World Cups: in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

"Denver is a world-class city and soccer destination, and our history of hosting extremely successful global soccer games and our enthusiastic fan base gives us confidence that - if selected - Denver and the region would be excited to see the World Cup take place at the Broncos' stadium".

The last time the US hosted the World Cup was in 1994, with Brazil winning the tournament at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

It wasn't only a numbers game.

Both bids made their final appeals to UEFA voters in Moscow on Tuesday, with Morocco and United expected to get a vast show of support from their respective confederations. Just watch Tuesday night's presidential debate for evidence of what has been a hard period for the country.

The North American bid had to overcome concerns about the effects of policies of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Eight years ago, the US was in a similar position, when it bid for the 2022 tournament.

Wednesday's vote, held in Moscow on the eve of this year's tournament, was about much more than just the 2026 host nation. Competing against South Korea, Japan, Australia and Qatar, the US seemed like the obvious choice given its existing stadiums and geo-political standing. Football is known as soccer in the United States. Combined bids can be unwieldy, but it also may bring countries into the mix that otherwise would've had no hope of ever staging games of the magnitude they could now host (looking at you, Paraguay).

A successful North American bid would likely also give the Canadian national team an automatic berth into the 2026 tournament.