The continent of North America will host the next edition of the quadrennial mega event.

As we head into the business end of FIFA World Cup 2022, many football freaks around the globe have already started to ponder about what is going to happen in FIFA World Cup 2026. From heartbreaks to elation, from jubilation to despair, we have witnessed quite a few stories in the ongoing edition of this quadrennial mega event. There is a lot of drama still in store for us surely but we have something for those fans whose teams are out or did not participate this time around.

Here is what you need to know about the FIFA World Cup 2026:

Hosts of FIFA World Cup 2026

The 23rd edition of the tournament will take place in North America. Three North American countries — Canada, Mexico and United States will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The World Cup will kick off on June 8 and will continue until July 3, 2026.

Plenty of chances but no finished product

A total of sixteen cities across the three nations have the rights to host the mega football tournament with some notable cities missing out in the likes of Washington D.C, The Rose Bowl, Cincinnati, Denver and Nashville. With a majority vote at FIFA’s congress, a joint bid by the three countries beat Morocco in 2018 to win the hosting rights for the tournament. The three nations have collectively dubbed their bid “United 2026.”

11 American venues were selected, with five located in the eastern third (despite FIFA’s interpretation of Atlanta), three in the central part of the country and three more out west. Two Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) will be witnessing the spectacle for the first time. A pair of Mexican cities (Mexico City and Guadalajara) will revisit history and host the World Cup for the third time (1970 and 1986). Whereas Monterrey will for the second time.

Format and the number of participants

As per official reports, it is likely that the 48 teams would be divided into groups of four. Thus, resulting in 12 groups. Though nothing has been confirmed yet, FIFA council members had originally voted for the 2026 edition to have three-team groups. But the problem with that system is that the two teams involved in the final group match could know exactly what result is required for both to progress. And thus play out any result between them to their favourable liking. 

However, in a recent string of events, Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s chief of global football development suggested that there have been ongoing talks with stakeholders and sponsors as to what can be a surgical solution to this problem. Sticking with four-team groups for the planned 48-team competition could mean the next tournament breaks the 100-game threshold. This will prove to be an extra source of revenue for the governing bodies. Very informal conversations are taking place between powerbrokers over sticking with groups of four, but serious discussions appear likely next year. 

Players whom we will miss

FIFA World Cup 2022 is probably going to bid an emotional farewell to some of the greats that have ever graced the centre stage of football. The all-time top goal scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is standing at 37 years. Whereas, Lionel Messi just made his 1000th international appearance for Argentina. It is very unlikely that we will be fortunate enough to see their heroics one more time. So, might as well enjoy their performances while they are still turning up the heat in Qatar. Other than them, there are a significant number of veterans like Thomas Muller, Luka Modric, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, and Dani Alves who will be hanging their boots up in the recent future.

Stadiums for 2026

As we are going to witness history come 18th December at the Lusail Stadium, here’s a list of the stadiums that have been confirmed for the 2026 FIFA World Cup:

USA (11)

Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Boston – Gillette Stadium

Dallas – AT&T Stadium

Houston – NRG Stadium

Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium

Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium

Miami – Hard Rock Stadium

New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium

Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field

San Francisco – Levi’s Stadium

Seattle – Lumen Field

Canada (2)

Toronto – BMO Field

Vancouver – BC Place

Mexico (3)

Guadalajara – Estadio Akron

Mexico City – Estadio Azteca

Monterrey – Estadio BBVA.

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