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How will 2026 World Cup vote work?

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The vote for who will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup takes place in Moscow on Wednesday, June 13 during the 68th FIFA Congress as the North American bid and Morocco go head-to-head.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Below is a breakdown on exactly how the voting system will work, as FIFA’s 206 member associations able to vote (Morocco, USA, Canada and Mexico are unable to vote as their bidding to be hosts) will decide which bid wins. 104 is the magic number.

There is also the small chance of both bids failing if enough votes are made for the third option on the ballot which is “None of the Bids – Reopen Bidding Process” as both the North American and Moroccan bid will lose and bids from other continents will be able to make a future bid to host the 2026 tournament.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Some projections have this being a close run thing with the joint U.S.-Canada-Mexico bid just ahead of Morocco but not having over 50 percent of the vote in the opening round, thus meaning a second round of bidding will take place. Whichever option has the most votes in a simple majority at the end of the second round will win the right to host the tournament.

Okay, with a little help from FIFA’s guidelines on the revamped bidding process, here we go…


How the voting process to select the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosts will work

  • The question to be put to the 68th FIFA Congress in connection with the vote shall be: “Do you want to award the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup
    final competition to the bid submitted by the Moroccan Football Association, to the joint bid submitted by the CSA, FEMEXFUT and the USSF (“United Bid”), or to none of them (thus reopening the bidding process, excluding the four member associations having already submitted a bid)?”
  • Voting may be conducted by electronic means. In this case, the possible votes are: “Moroccan Football Association Bid”; “United Bid”; or “None of the Bids – Reopen Bidding Process.”
  • If a FIFA Congress member does not vote for any of these options, this shall be counted as an abstention. The result of each ballot and the related votes by the members of the FIFA Congress shall be made public on immediately after the conclusion of the Congress.
  • The result will be announced immediately after the vote has been conducted by showing it on the screen at the FIFA congress.
  • In accordance with art. 69 par. 2 (d) of the FIFA Statutes, if fewer than three bids are presented to the Congress, a simple majority (more than 50%) of the valid votes cast is required for a decision on the host. In accordance with art. 11 par. 1 of the Standing Orders of the Congress, invalid votes or electronic votes manipulated in any other way as well as abstentions are to be disregarded when calculating the simple majority.
  • If one of the two bids obtains a simple majority in the first ballot, it shall be awarded the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The other bid shall be deemed to be rejected by FIFA. This decision is final.
  • If the third option (“None of the Bids – Reopen Bidding Process”) obtains a simple majority in the first ballot, both of the aforementioned bids are deemed to be rejected and the second phase of the Bidding Procedure shall be initiated (thus reopening the bidding process, excluding the four member associations that have already submitted a bid).
  • If none of the above three options obtains a simple majority, and the number of votes for the option “None of the Bids – Reopen Bidding Process” is equal to the number of votes for the aforementioned bids taken together, both of the bids shall be deemed to be rejected and the second phase of the Bidding Procedure shall be initiated. The proceedings relating to the agenda item of the 68th FIFA Congress on the designation of the host country of the 2026 FIFA World Cup shall be concluded.
  • If none of the options presented to the 68th FIFA Congress reaches a simple majority, and the number of votes for the aforementioned bids taken together is higher than the number of votes for the option “None of the Bids”, a second ballot shall be conducted. The question to be put to the 68th FIFA Congress in the context of the second ballot shall be: “Do you want to award the right to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ final competition to the bid submitted by the Moroccan Football Association or to the joint bid submitted by the CSA, FEMEXFUT and the USSF (“United Bid”)?”
  • A simple majority (more than 50%) of the valid votes cast is required for a decision to be taken in the second ballot.  If the second ballot should result in an equal number of votes for both bids, the bid that received the highest weighted average score in the technical evaluation report shall prevail.

Report: Newcastle’s Clark knocked out on Spanish dance floor

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A wild story out of Spain says an Englishman knocked Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark unconscious at a night club.

[ MORE: Sampaoli defends Messi ]

Clark was on vacation in Spain, where he was spending time at Crystal’s Bar in Punta Ballena, Magaluf very early Sunday morning.

Clark and a man “in his 30s” got into an argument that saw the Irish defender knocked out, according to the BBC.

Clark was left unconscious and taken to hospital after an argument between him and the suspect broke out on the dance floor.

The 28-year-old suffered cuts and bruises to his face.

Clark, 28, scored twice in 20 Premier League appearances this season, his second at St. James’ Park.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 9 — Iceland’s next step, Brazilian bounce back?

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Brazil is one of the favorites of the 2018 World Cup, while Iceland is the smallest nation to qualify for the world’s biggest tournament.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

On Friday, both enter their second match days feeling quite different after 1-1 draws.

They won’t face each other, of course, but the contrast is striking nevertheless.

Brazil opens the day’s action when it squares off with Costa Rica, who fell to Serbia in the opener. For Serbia, a dark horse of the tournament, it will be a meeting with Switzerland.

Then there’s Iceland’s bid to climb into the Group D driver’s seat by knocking off Nigeria. A win from Iceland would make Lionel Messi and Argentina’s task of qualifying for the knockout rounds extremely unlikely.

Below is Friday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group D
Nigeria vs. Iceland: Volgograd, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group E
Brazil vs. Costa Rica: Saint Petersburg, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Serbia vs. Switzerland: Kaliningrad, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Sampaoli defends Messi, blasts Argentina

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Jorge Sampaoli is lambasting his team after a 3-0 loss put Argentina on the edge of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup’s knockout rounds.

“The reality of the Argentina squad clouds Lionel Messi’s brilliance,” Sampaoli said. “The team doesn’t gel as well as it should.”

[ MORE: Modric urges humility ]

Sampaoli said his players could not find a way to get the ball to Messi, and that the introduction of Boca Juniors youngster Cristian Pavón was aimed at opening up the field a little bit.

And Sampaoli is not shying away from the long-discussed comparison between Messi and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. From the BBC:

“Cristiano is a great player and he has achieved a lot with club and country. Right now it is hard to compare these two players because of the ability in the Argentinian squad clouds the judgment. Leo is in a difficult position because the squad doesn’t gel with him. As coach I have to accept that. I don’t feel shame but I definitely feel pain. It has been a long time since I have gone through this experience as a coach and obviously it is more painful when I’m wearing the colours of my country.

“We have no alternative but to give it our all in the final match. We have not performed at the level the country expects. We were ambitious ahead of the game but now it is harder for us as a group. We did think this would be the match we can take off as a team, but it wasn’t in the end. I think this is an excellent squad but we didn’t gel or come together. We need to take advantage of the next match, when the pressure will be on, and hope to progress.”

Now, of course Sampaoli is going to defend Messi, but Argentina’s team is not chopped liver. The side certainly isn’t as deep or solid as Croatia, but 1-1 with Iceland preceded this one.

That said, Argentina’s performance once Croatia essentially decided to surround Messi was unacceptable. If favored Nigeria doesn’t handle its business against Iceland, the World Cup finalists won’t have a prayer of going back.

Modric urges humility after big win, stunning goal (video)

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There are few teams who’ve looked as strong as Croatia at the World Cup in Russia.

[ RECAP: Argentina 0-3 Croatia ]

Zlatko Dalic’s men now have a pair of shutout wins against decent competition, topping Nigeria 2-0 over the weekend before hammering Argentina 3-0 on Thursday.

The nature of those performances will have many, us included, debating just how far Croatia can run in this tournament. Veteran midfielder Luka Modric is hoping his team doesn’t do the same.

Let’s not be euphoric or get ahead of ourselves,” Modric said. “Of course this win will boost our confidence for the next game, and we have shown we can create opportunities, but let’s keep our feet firmly on the ground.”

Modric noted that Willy Caballero‘s howler “was a shot in the arm,” but added that they had played a “perfect game.”

That’s true. And while so much focus will be on Messi’s struggles, don’t sleep on the terrific performance of Vatreni. 

Modric also seemed to bristle when asked about shutting down Messi.

“I don’t want to talk about other players. We are happy with our own performance. We wanted to cut out Messi receiving the ball because he is the most dangerous player.”