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Chicago Will Not Host Any 2026 World Cup Games [UPDATED]

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel pulls Chicago out of the joint North American bid for the 2026 tournament

OPENING CEREMONY

News broke late last night that Chicago will no longer be involved in the United 2026 World Cup bid.

Soldier Field was among 32 potential venues listed for a 2026 World Cup tournament joint-hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. But the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has withdrawn Chicago from participation in the bid.

In a statement to the Sun-Times, a spokesperson for the Mayor said the decision was based on a desire to shield taxpayers from massive tax liabilities.

“FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk. The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”

Earlier on Wednesday news broke that Vancouver had also been withdrawn from consideration as a host city.

The full list of potential host cities is set to be released today.

This news comes as the United 2026 bid is facing serious questions over its viability. There are a number of reasons why the North American World Cup is being met with skepticism, from sour grapes among FIFA officials for the US’ role in exposing the ongoing corruption scandal to America’s declining prestige and popularity around the world to the policies and politics of the Trump Administration. The bid committee recently initiated an executive board shake-up to try and right the ship, although former US Soccer president Sunil Gulati remains in a leadership role.

The United 2026 bid’s only real competition is Morocco, which recently picked up a major endorsement from disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Make of that what you will.

UPDATE: Just gonna leave this riiiiiiight here.