What do we know about the 2026 Football World Cup?
Following the success of the Qatar World Cup 2022, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is looking to host the 2026 World Cup in one of the 16 cities in North American countries (Canada, Mexico, and the United States).
Here are the updates about the 2026 Football World Cup -
- The United States will host 60 matches, including every match from the quarterfinals onward while neighboring Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches.
- The tournament will be the first to be hosted by three nations.
- For the first time, the tournament will host 48 teams instead of the usual 32. There will be a total of 80 matches in this tournament, of which Canada and Mexico will host 10 each.
- The United 2026 bid beat a rival bid by Morocco during a final vote at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow. It will be the first World Cup since 2002 to be hosted by more than one nation.
- With its past hosting of the 1970 and 1986 tournaments, Mexico will become the first country to host or co-host the men's World Cup three times.
- The United States hosted the last World Cup in 1994, and Canada will be co-hosting for the first time. In Qatar 2022, the tournament will take place during the summer rather than the winter.
A desire to increase the number of participants in the tournament from the previous 32-team format was announced on October 4, 2016.
Four expansion options were considered.
- Expand to 40 teams (eight groups of five teams)—88 matches
- Expand to 40 teams (ten groups of four teams)—76 matches
- Expand to 48 teams (opening 32-team playoff round)—80 matches
- Expand to 48 teams (16 groups of three teams)—80 matches
On January 10, 2017, the FIFA Council chose the last of the four options and voted unanimously to expand to a 48-team tournament. The tournament will open with a group stage consisting of 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams progressing from each group to a knockout tournament starting with a round of 32 teams.
Under this format, the total number of games played will increase from 64 to 80, but the number of games played by finalists will remain at seven, the same as with 32 teams. Each team will play one fewer group match than under the previous format, compensating for the additional knockout round. The tournament will also be completed within 32 days, the same as previous 32-team tournaments.
Under this format, the number of games played would increase from 64 to 104, and the number of games played by finalists would increase to eight. Each team would still play three group matches and an additional knockout round match.
Co-hosting the FIFA World Cup—which had been banned by FIFA after the 2002 World Cup—was approved for the 2026 World Cup, though not limited to a specific number but instead evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Also for 2026, the FIFA general secretariat, after consultation with the Competitions Committee, had the power to exclude bidders who did not meet the minimum technical requirements to host the competition.
It’s the world’s biggest road to the soccer tournament, where the best football teams from different continents are in the same place. On June 16, 2022, Mercedes-Benz Stadium displays an announcement that FIFA has selected Atlanta as the host city for the 2026 World Cup.
To determine the final two FIFA World Cup spots, a playoff event with six teams will be organized. This tournament will feature one team from each confederation (except UEFA) plus an additional team from the confederation of the host country (CONCACAF).
Based on the FIFA Men’s World Rankings, two teams will be seeded, and they will compete for a spot in the FIFA World Cup against the winners of the first two knockout matches between the four unseeded teams.
The competition will take place in one or more of the host nations and serve as a warm-up for the FIFA World Cup. A potential date for the 2026 edition has been offered as the current playoffs are planned for November 2025.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the most interesting tournament because, as we know, the number of teams has increased and there will be more tough competition among the teams as well.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup defending champion is Argentina; it was held in Qatar. This tournament was one of the best, with many records set and broken.
- FIFA World Cup 2026 Host City: Canada, Mexico, and the United States
- Qualification Date: November 2025 and March 2026 (32 days)
- Teams: 48 (from 5 or 6 confederations)
- Venues: 3 countries (in 16 host cities)
- Canada: Vancouver, Toronto
- Mexico: Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara
- United States: New York/New Jersey, Dallas, Kansas City, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Miami
It is widely expected that as host nations, the USA, Canada, and Mexico will all automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The start date of the qualification process has yet to be determined. However, the anticipated qualifying round will run from November 2025 to March 2026.
There are four ticket categories where the expected prices range from $54.85 to $1000, except for the final.
- Opening match: $54.85-$301.68
- Group play: $10.97-$219.40
- Round of 16: $19.20–$274.26
- Quarterfinals: $82.28-$425.10
- Semifinals: $137.13-$954.41
- Third-place match: $82.28-$425.10