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.

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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.

Bundesliga: Thorgan Hazard goes off as Gladbach jumps to second

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While Eden Hazard has torn it up in the Premier League, his brother is quietly leading Borussia Monchengladbach to a stellar season.

Thorgan Hazard scored a goal and assisted two others as Gladbach clobbered Mainz 4-0, jumping to second in the Bundesliga table. Jonas Hofmann had the hat-trick, putting Gladbach in the lead 21 minutes in, but Hazard made things happen. He threaded the pass to Hofmann through the three-man defensive line for the game’s opener.

Hofmann put them 2-0 up on another Hazard assist minutes after halftime, and then he bagged his own on a pinpoint cross from Nico Elvedi that left Hazard all alone to roof it past a helpless Florian Müller. Hofmann pulled in his hat-trick by the 63rd minute to seal the game.

Thorgan Hazard has now been directly involved in 11 goals in nine games for Gladbach this season, the same amount as his brother Eden has for Chelsea so far.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin and Freiburg drew 1-1 on a pair of first-half goals. Ondrej Duda scored for Hertha just seven minutes into the match thanks to an absolutely delicious feed from Per Skjelbred on a through ball from just past the halfway line. That was it for Hertha though, as they struggled to create more good chances. Freiburg knotted it up just past the half-hour mark, as Robin Koch delivered a howitzer into the top corner, a truly fantastic goal.

Hertha failed to truly take advantage of the crowded top of the table, but the point pushed them up to sixth in the table, level on 15 points with RB Leipzig. Freiburg, meanwhile, moved to nine points, just three above the relegation zone.

Report: Lopetegui out at Real Madrid after historic slide

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Julen Lopetegui may not be entirely at fault for the historic skid Real Madrid has found itself in the midst of, but if reports are accurate, he will be taking the fall for it.

According to Sky Sports, Lopetegui is out at Real Madrid, and the change at the helm is imminent. Whether Lopetegui is the main culprit or not, the optics of the last few weeks have been far from pretty.

Madrid has gone five matches without a win across all competitions, four of those losses. They suffered through a club-record 481-minute scoreless streak, which ended on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Levante.

Earlier in the day, Spanish outlet Marca reported that Lopetegui is on thin ice, saying that he will be fired soon, “if it is not today, it will be tomorrow, or in the next week, or after El Clasico.”

Lopetegui maintained his safe mindset after the Levante loss, telling reporters, “Right now that is the last thing that I’m thinking about. I feel more encouraged than ever to continue because the team gave their heart and soul on the pitch. Sooner or later we will come out of this. The dressing room was sad but the players are keen to lift themselves up and look to the next game. The players gave everything and we will get out of this situation.”

However, there was a Lopetegui quote following the loss to Levante that may reveal a little more about his current mindset. Lopetegui said, “Football will give back everything it has taken from us,” or, in other words, Lopetegui believes that Real Madrid’s performance will advance back to the mean. He clearly believes what is happening at Real Madrid does not need fixing, and if he continues to plow forward eventually things will correct themselves. While that may or may not be true, the points Madrid has lost in the La Liga table, and the positioning it has lost in Champions League play, cannot be recovered. There is serious ground to be made up in league play now with Barcelona four points ahead of Madrid, plus three other teams between the two sides in the standings.

While it was always going to take time to adjust for the loss of star player Cristiano Ronaldo, that alone is not the reason why Madrid has failed to put the ball in the back of the net. There is some bad luck involved as Lopetegui mentioned, considering they put up 3.26 expected goals and hit the woodwork three times in the loss to Levante, but they also had less than stellar performances against Alaves and Atletico Madrid, and they were soundly beaten by Sevilla.

It’s been a rough few months for Lopetegui. His acceptance of the Madrid position this summer resulted in a messy and embarrassing split from the Spanish national team less than 48 hours before the start of the World Cup. He lost his opening match in charge, falling to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in extra time, and while the club won four of its first five league matches, the dry spell eventually struck, and here we are.

It’s no surprise that Florentino Perez, the firecracker in charge of Los Blancos, has made a move in the midst of the struggles. No matter where the blame ultimately lies, the manager is always going to be the first to take the fall, and that appears to have taken place at Madrid.

VIDEO: Goal kings Rooney, Shearer sit down for special interview

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No player in Premier League history has scored more goals than Alan Shearer (260); the only player to score more goals than Wayne Rooney (208) is Shearer.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League, Week 9? ]

Suffice to say, it was a very special occasion when the two England legends — Rooney’s 53 international goals make him the Three Lions’ all-time leader, while Shearer’s 30 place his sixth — got together for a sit-down interview about Rooney’s whirlwind year of 2018.

From his largely failed return to Everton, to leaving the PL and England behind for D.C. United and MLS, followed by the raging success he’s enjoyed with the Black and Red thus far, Rooney and Shearer had plenty to catch up on.

ATLUTD aim to capture Shield without two key players

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Second-year Atlanta United is closing in on its first trophy but will likely continue the chase for the Supporters’ Shield without two key players when they host the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Midfielder Miguel Almiron sustained a hamstring injury in the first half against New England on Oct. 6 and midfielder/forward Hector Villalba suffered an unknown injury with the Paraguayan national team last week. Neither trained with the team Thursday.

Atlanta (20-6-6, 66 points) leads its Eastern Division rival, the New York Red Bulls, by a point for the Supporters’ Shield, emblematic of the best team in Major League Soccer, with two matches left for both.

Chicago (8-17-7, 31 points) has been a disappointment but is 2-2-2 in the past six matches after an eight-game losing streak.

“The last four games we committed to a plan of giving the best possible image for the club and ourselves so we can finish strong with performances that we would like to start the next season with,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said.

Any combination of six points won by United or lost by the Red Bulls will clinch the best record for Atlanta as well as home field throughout the postseason. Atlanta has set the season attendance mark with an average of 51,826 fans per game so far, bettering its mark of 48,000 in the inaugural season of 2017.

Villalba has seven goals and nine assists, but the engine in the attack is Almiron.

He is tied for 11th in MLS with 12 goals and his 14 assists are tied for fourth. Many of his setups have been to Josef Martinez, who has 30 goals to set the league season record. Almiron’s replacement could be 18-year-old Ezequiel Barco.

“You can’t just replace Miguel with one guy — it’s too big of shoes to fill,” Atlanta defender Michael Parkhurst said. “The important thing is that (Barco) doesn’t have that pressure that he has to do what Miguel does.”

Atlanta coach Tata Martinez said his team learned how to play without Almiron last season when he was injured.

“We know that if Miguel is out, the guys around him are going to have to step up,” Martinez said. “Maybe they aren’t as talented as he is, but they will have to do it with a lot of hard work and sacrifice.”