Houston in running to host some 2026 World Cup matches

By Jake Reiner - Reporter, Samson Tamijani

HOUSTON - It might be time to party like it’s 1994 because it looks like the world’s game is coming back to Texas.

FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, announced Wednesday that the North American United bid of the U.S., Mexico and Canada had won the votes necessary to secure the hosting of the 2026 World Cup.

Texans may remember that the Cotton Bowl hosted six games in the grueling Dallas heat as part of the 1994 World Cup, the first held in the U.S.

The plan for the 2026 tournament is to feature 10 venues in the U.S. and three each in Mexico and Canada.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is hopeful the Bayou City will be one of the cities that is chosen.

"Houston is thrilled to be a part of the United bid, and we are confident that we will land one of the host city slots,” Turner said.

VIDEO: Harris County officials talk about World Cup bid

The United Bid Committee has already received a taste of Houston’s potential. In fact, they met last November to study the city’s success with Super Bowl LI and the 2016 Final Four.

Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti said the prospect of being picked makes sense.

“(Houston) is one of the most diverse markets in all of the country, and of course soccer is the world’s game -- the most popular sport around the world -- and our demographic here really lines up well for soccer,” Canetti said.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first time that three countries host the tournament.

The 1994 tournament in the U.S. still holds the record for highest fan attendance in World Cup history.

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