Chicago, Minneapolis drop out of World Cup bid, blast FIFA

Published 8:05 am Friday, March 16, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago, the home of the U.S. Soccer Federation, and Minneapolis dropped out of the North American bid to host the 2026 World Cup because of what city officials said were burdensome financial demands by FIFA.

Twenty-three cities, including 17 in the United States, were chosen to be included in bid documents to be submitted to FIFA on Friday. Morocco also is bidding, and the 207 other FIFA members are scheduled to make the decision at FIFA Congress in Moscow on June 13.

Vancouver, British Columbia, said its bid was rejected because it refused to comply with FIFA’s requirements that include tax waivers and putting agreements under Swiss law. Five other U.S. cities were cut: Charlotte, North Carolina; Glendale, Arizona; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City; and Tampa, Florida.

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Sixty games would be played in the U.S. under the bid plan, including all from the quarterfinals on. Three cities were included from Mexico and Canada, and both of those nations would host 10 games.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-nation field, and if chosen the North American bid intends to ask FIFA to choose 16 venues for the tournament.

The chosen U.S. cities are Arlington, Texas; Atlanta; Baltimore; Cincinnati; Denver; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Houston; Inglewood or Pasadena, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Landover, Maryland; Miami; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Santa Clara, California; and Seattle.