The high-stakes contest to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup has its first two winners.
Toronto and Vancouver have reportedly been selected to host 10 games between them in the 48-team global tournament.
- Edmonton is reportedly out of the running, but mayor Amarjeet Sohi said that he has not heard from FIFA regarding a decision.
- FIFA will announce the full slate of host cities from 22 candidates across Canada, the U.S., and Mexico on June 16.
A 2018 study found that North America could collectively see $5 billion in economic impact, or $3 billion to $4 billion in net impact after factoring in infrastructure investments. Individual cities could see $160 million to $620 million in economic activity, or $90 million to $480 million after subtracting public costs.
Candidate cities have produced even higher estimates, with Houston projecting over $1 billion in economic activity if selected, and Nashville predicting $700 million.
Qatar Cracks Down
Qatar, this year’s World Cup host, is threatening shocking and severe punishments for certain behaviors as it gears up for the first group-stage matches in November.
Fans caught with drugs could face the death penalty, in accordance with Qatari law.
Protestors could face five years in prison for stirring up public opinion.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other groups have called on FIFA to set aside $440 million to compensate migrant workers in Qatar for human rights abuses during preparations for the World Cup.