In 2026, the national teams of the member associations of FIFA will compete in the 23rd FIFA World Cup. Sixteen locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico will all play home at the event. The United States will host sixty games, including every game in the semifinals and finals, while Canada and Mexico will each host ten. It’s unprecedented for three countries to hold a tournament jointly. The previous record for the most teams in a single event was 32, but this one will have 48!
After a close vote at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, the United 2026 proposal was chosen over Morocco’s competing bid. It will be the first time more than two countries have hosted the World Cup since 2002.
Mexico will create history by being the first nation to host or co-host the men’s World Cup three times, having previously hosted in 1970 and 1986. Canada is hosting or co-hosting the men’s World Cup for the first time, whereas the United States has not done so since 1994.
So let us look at all the essential details of the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup, which is a highly anticipated event of 2026.
Format For The 2026 FIFA World Cup
In October 2013, then-UEFA President Michel Platini proposed expanding the tournament to 40 teams, a proposal later echoed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino in March 2016. On October 4, 2016, it was officially notified that the tournament would expand from its original format of 32 teams. There were four potential avenues for growth:
- An increase to 40 teams (8 groups of 5 teams)—88 matches
- In addition to 40 teams (10 groups of 4 teams)—76 matches
- In addition to 48 teams (opening 32-team playoff round)—80 matches
- An increase to 48 teams (16 groups of 3 teams)—80 matches
The FIFA Council opted for the fourth alternative and overwhelmingly approved expanding the tournament to 48 teams on January 10, 2017. In the event’s first round, there will be 16 groups of three teams each, and the first two teams of every group will move to the knockout stage, beginning with the round of 32.
There will be eighty games played instead of sixty-four. However, the final four teams will still play seven games. To make up for the extra elimination round, each club will play one less match in the group round. Like other tournaments with 32 teams, this one will wrap up in 32 days.
Now that you know the format for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, you should also see where the tournament will be hosted and which nation will sponsor that year’s FIFA World Cup.
Host Selection For The The 2026 FIFA World Cup
From 2013 through 2017, the FIFA Council argued about whether or not to place restrictions on hosting rotation depending on the regional confederations. It was initially decided that nations belonging to associations that held the two previous championships may not submit bids to host.
The regulation was briefly modified such that only members of the confederation that held the last World Cup were ineligible to bid on hosting the next tournament. Still, it has since been restored to its original two World Cup limit.
However, if none of the bids submitted meets the stringent technical and financial standards, the FIFA Council has made an exemption to provide candidacy to member associations of the organization of the previous host of the football FIFA World Cup.
Venue For The The 2026 FIFA World Cup
Forty-one cities with a total of 43 fully operational venues and two venues under development put themselves up as bidders. Nine towns and nine venues were eliminated in the first round.
An extra nine venues across six cities were eliminated in the second round, while three venues across three cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, and Vancouver) dropped out owing to FIFA’s refusal to reveal financial data. Vancouver was restored as a potential host city in April 2022 after Montreal pulled out in July 2021, increasing the total to 24 locations, all of which are in their respective cities or metropolitan areas.
Soccer-specific stadiums exist in both Canada and the United States. However, the biggest of them, Geodis Park in Nashville, only holds 30,000 fans, less than the 40,000 required by FIFA (although Toronto’s prospective site, an MLS stadium, is being enlarged from 30,000 to 45,500 for this event). However, specific venues, such as Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Seattle’s Lumen Field, host games for both the NFL and MLS.
Although primarily used for gridiron football, with American stadiums hosting National Football League (NFL) teams and Canadian stadiums hosting the Canadian Football League (CFL), all Canadian and American stadiums have been used for and are designed to host association football matches on numerous occasions.
The host cities for the 2022 FIFA World Cup were announced on June 16, divided into three regions: the Western Region, which includes Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Guadalajara; the Central Region, which includes Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Monterrey, and Mexico City; and the Eastern Region, which includes Toronto, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Miami; and the Southern Region, which includes Mexico City (2 in Canada, 3 in Mexico and 11 in the United States).
Ottawa and Washington, D.C., Bonn (West Germany, 1974) and Tokyo (Japan, 2002) are the only other capital towns not chosen to host World Cup matches alongside Mexico City, the sole capital of the three host countries. Due to FedEx Field’s poor condition, Washington, a potential host city, teamed up with neighbouring Baltimore instead. Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Orlando, and Edmonton were the other cities that didn’t cut hosting.
TD Place Stadium, Ottawa’s potential location, was quickly ruled out owing to capacity issues. No venues from the 1994 tournament will be utilised, and the Azteca is the lone venue from the 1970 and 1986 tournaments that will be used in this one.
All the essential details you should know about the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This massive event will be organized in the venues above and will be one of the most memorable events in FIFA history. Every football fan must look for important details regarding an event as massive as the FIFA world cup in the upcoming years.