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Chicago withdraws from 2026 World Cup bid over lack of assurances

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Chicago has pulled out of the North America bid for the 2026 World Cup, a spokesman for the city's mayor has said.

The decision was made because city officials felt that FIFA, world football's governing body, could not provide necessary assurances.

Chicago's Soldier Field had been on a list of 32 potential venues in the bid to stage the 2026 tournament in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

But a statement from the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city would not host any games in the event that the North American bid got the go-ahead.

"FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk," the statement said.

"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."

American governing body U.S. Soccer did not comment on the Chicago decision.

Chicago's Soldier Field had been on the bid's list of venues.

The news comes after the Canadian city of Vancouver was dropped from the 2026 bid.

United 2026 -- the committee which represents the bid to host football's biggest event -- informed the city it has been taken off the list of candidates being considered to stage matches.

"We submitted our second bid last night and this morning we received notification that [United 2026] have not accepted the bid," Tourism Minister Lisa Beare told reporters at the British Columbia Legislature on Wednesday.

Beare said the province, in which Vancouver is located, "couldn't agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs."

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