SA soccer fans crowd sports bars to watch World Cup

Posted June 17, 2018

Canada, Mexico and the United States will be hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The soccer showpiece will return to the USA for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, where the 2018 tournaments starts on Thursday.

Morocco has tried, and failed, four times before, in votes for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments - it lost out in the latter to South Africa, the only African nation ever to have hosted football's global showpiece.

When Saudi Arabia took on hosts Russian Federation at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Thursday, the 80,000 fans in the stands were a tiny fraction of the almost three billion people around the world to whom the kick-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was available on television.

"Why should we be supporting these countries when they don't support us (including at the United Nations)?" he tweeted.

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Soccer excitement is in the air at local sports bars for the FIFA World Cup. While you could argue no one can know for certain, we will all try to guess anyway, and this year there is quite a difference between what the public predicts versus what some pretty sophisticated statistical models have picked.

"The handsome game transcends borders and cultures".

"I was sad when the victor was announced", said former Moroccan footballer Abdelkrim El Hadrioui.

Finally, the President of the United States, Donald trump turned to the allies to support a joint bid, and Ukraine is an ally of the United States.

Despite the latest setback, Morocco vowed to continue its bid to host the tournament in future.

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"I don't think there is any doubt that the American public is far more soccer literate whether that is because of the World Cup (in 1994) or the presence of MLS or the presence of global soccer on television and the changes in technology and social media that facilitate all of that", he told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has the worst odds of any team to win their group.

Bid officials are keen on the idea of having three games back-to-back-to-back on the opening day of the tournament, using BMO Field, Mexico City's Azteca Stadium and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

The FA was among the first to congratulate the United bid, which earned its vote.

"We cast our vote for the United bid as we believe the independent technical assessment made its advantages very clear".

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'Upon royal instructions, Morocco will prepare its bid to host the 2030 tournament, ' spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi told a press briefing.