Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Defending champions Germany arrive in Russia for World Cup

Defending champions Germany arrive in Russia for World Cup

The North American bid beat competition from Morocco, which was hoping to become just the second African country to host soccer's biggest worldwide tournament. The US, Mexico and Canada received 134 votes (67 percent) with the Morocco bid earning 65 votes.

Every one of FIFA's 200-plus members holds a single vote, and regions tend to vote in blocks.

Canada's men's team has not played in the World Cup since 1986 but traditionally, host countries do get to play.

An worldwide police cooperation center has been inaugurated on the outskirts of Moscow to facilitate coordination between officers from the 32 countries that qualified for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Both Mexico (1970 and 1986) and the United States (1994) have previously hosted World Cups. It will be the first World Cup since the 2002 edition in South Korea and Japan in which multiple countries will host.

For so long the United bid had looked like it would run unopposed but Morocco, a country that has pitched but failed to secure four previous tournaments, jumped into the fray last August and created a two-horse race that has proved to be unexpectedly competitive.

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The VAR will be overseen remotely from a control room in Moscow throughout the tournament and, in a bid to control sweat levels, FIFA is insisting they forgo civilian suits and ties in favour of football shirts and shorts. Federation Internationale de Football Association will meet with the bid committee over the next two years to determine, by mid or late 2020, the North American cities that will stage the tournament's 80 matches.

The "United Bid" calls for the host 60 matches, including all games from the quarter-finals through to the final. Residents of host cities including Yekaterinburg, where a security fence cut off an apartment block from the main access road, have complained that security measures are disproportionately disruptive. The MetLife Stadium in New York City will host the prestigious World Cup final. Three cities each in Canada and Mexico will also host games.

So Morocco concentrated its pitch on the country's undisputed passion for football, the notion that Africa deserves another World Cup after South Africa 2010, its far more compact offering and Euro-friendly time zone.

The wounds of 2018 may still sting for the USA, but for today at least, the Yanks, El Tri and The Canucks have won in the biggest way possible.

The tournament will mark the first time a World Cup has been shared by three host nations. In addition, the United bid projected to bring in $14 billion, double that of Morocco.

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