Luzhniki Stadium, where the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off this week. (FIFA.com/Twitter)

The good news for Canadian soccer fans just keeps coming!

Less than two weeks after the announcement that Greater Victoria would get its own professional soccer team, the United Bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States was selected to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The decision was made Wednesday in a 134 to 65 vote by FIFA’s member associations at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.

The vote marks the first time three nations have been selected to co-host a FIFA World Cup, and the first time in 32 years that it will come to North America.

2026 will also see the largest World Cup ever, as it expands to a 48-team format.

“Hosting a FIFA World Cup is an extraordinary honour and privilege,” said Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co‐Chair of the United Bid.

“Canada, Mexico, and the United States are ready to welcome the world to North America and serve as stewards of the largest FIFA World Cup in history.”

British Columbia won’t host any games

Unfortunately, while the news is exciting for Canada as a whole, the West Coast will be watching from the sidelines.

Vancouver withdrew from the bid in March, leaving Montreal, Edmonton, and Toronto as the sole Canadian potential host cities for the championship.

The B.C. government pointed to concerns around FIFA’s bid agreement as reasons for pulling out.

In a statement Wednesday, Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, congratulated the United Bid on its success while re-iterating the province’s position.

“Our government has a responsibility to ensure that B.C. taxpayers are not on the hook for hidden costs,” Beare said. “The FIFA bid agreement contained clauses, which government felt left taxpayers at unacceptable risk of additional costs.”

“We tried very hard to get assurances that addressed our concerns. Unfortunately, those assurances were not forthcoming.”

Regardless, the announcement makes for exciting news. To celebrate, why not watch the 2018 World Cup at one of our recommended spots?

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