In 2026, North America is poised to host the most colossal FIFA World Cup in history. With three nations sharing hosting duties, an unprecedented number of venues, and a formidable lineup of 48 teams, this tournament is breaking all the records. The USA, Canada, and Mexico are teaming up to infuse vitality into the event. As confirmed by FIFA back in 2018, the 2026 World Cup is set to unfold across North America, featuring 80 exhilarating matches scattered across the three largest nations on the continent.
When and where will the 2026 FIFA World Cup take place?
The forthcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Both the United States and Mexico boast a legacy, having previously welcomed the global football community. Mexico, in particular, is poised to etch its name in history as the first nation to host three men's tournaments, having graciously played host in 1970, 1986, and slated for 2026.
The United States, on the other hand, has hosted the tournament once in 1994 and is gearing up to join an exclusive roster of nations that have held multiple men's World Cups. This prestigious list includes the soccer powerhouses of Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, and Germany. Meanwhile, Canada, having hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 and the FIFA men's Under-20 World Cup in 2007, is on the cusp of a significant milestone.
The forthcoming 2026 tournament marks its inaugural stint as the host of the senior men's event, adding a new chapter to its storied soccer narrative on the global stage. The United States will be focal to the event, with 11 designated host cities, including the historically significant Philadelphia. From Atlanta to Miami, each city is poised to exemplify a profound commitment to the sport. Across the northern border, Canada's Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto will be integral to the proceedings, while Mexico's Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Monterrey will also play a part in the tournament.
Nevertheless, the expansion of the tournament and the methodology employed for host selection have elicited notable criticism. As the countdown commences, the stage is set for a football spectacle characterized by both brilliance and contentious discourse.
How will teams qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?
A total of 46 teams will secure automatic qualification for the upcoming tournament, with the last two positions determined through intercontinental playoffs. Compared to the 2022 format, there's a notable increase of 17 qualifying spots—16 newly added slots, along with the previous provision for hosts, which is now amalgamated into the general qualifying pool.
For instance, in the 2022 World Cup, Asia enjoyed five places, encompassing four automatic slots and an additional one for Qatar as hosts. However, the new approach eliminates this separate host allocation. Breaking down the distribution of the 46 automatic slots, here's a glance at the revised numbers:
Asia: 8 (Increased by 4)
Africa: 9 (Increased by 4)
North, Central America, and the Caribbean: 6 (Increased by 3)
Europe: 16 (Increased by 3)
South America: 6 (Increased by 2)
Oceania: 1 (Increased by 1)
A noteworthy adjustment comes in the CONCACAF region, which was initially set to receive six automatic qualifying places. However, due to the automatic slots granted to the United States, Mexico, and Canada, the available slots for other CONCACAF teams are reduced to three for the 2026 edition.
How many teams have qualified for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?
Since the qualification for 2026 FIFA World Cup only started in September 2023, as of October 2023 only three teams have qualified for the next senior men’s World Cup. Those are the three hosts, the United States of America, Canada and Mexico which means that the available slots for other CONCACAF teams are reduced to three.
Preliminary competitions for Africa and Asia also get under way before the end of 2023 as nations battle it out for coveted spots at the global finals. Here’s the full list of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and when they kick off:
South America (CONMEBOL) — Started September 2023
Asia (AFC) — Started October 2023
Africa — Begins November 2023
North and Central America (CONCACAF) — Begins March 2024
Oceania (OFC) — Begins September 2024
Europe (UEFA) — Begins March 2025
What stadiums will the 2026 FIFA World Cup be played in?
The 2026 FIFA World Cup is on the horizon, unfolding its grandeur across three North American nations: the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Amidst the 80 anticipated matches in the tournament, a substantial 60 will take place across various stadiums in the USA, while Canada and Mexico, each claiming 10 games, add their unique flavor to the mix.
This football tournament is set to take place across 16 dynamic host cities, reflecting the rich tapestry of the continent—2 in Canada, 3 in Mexico, and 11 in the United States. They are:
Mexico City: Estadio Azteca
New York/New Jersey: MetLife Stadium
Dallas: AT&T Stadium
Kansas City: Arrowhead Stadium
Houston: NRG Stadium
Atlanta: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Los Angeles: SoFi Stadium
Philadelphia: Lincoln Financial Field
Seattle: Lumen Field
San Francisco Bay Area: Levi's Stadium
A. In 2026, the US, Canada, and Mexico will jointly host the World Cup, while the 2030 edition will see Morocco, Portugal, and Spain as joint hosts with additional matches in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.
A. A total of 48 teams will qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup from six federations including UEFA, CONMEBOL, OFC, AFCON, AFC and CONACAF.
A. As of October 2023, only three teams have qualified for the 2026 FIFA World Cup although the other 45 slots are still open with the qualifiers currently ongoing.