The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be held in North America: in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. At the 2026 World Cup Football finals there is a record number of 48 participating countries. Having three host countries is also a first in World Cup Soccer history. There will (most probably) be 16 host cities: 2 in Canada, 3 in Mexico, and 11 in the United States. The 23rd edition of the FIFA World Cup™ will begin and end in the summer of 2026. The qualifiers will start in 2023. The 48 teams will play 80 matches in total at the North American finals of this international association football competition. The 2026 World Cup was awarded to North America on June 13, 2018.

World Cup 2026
Pro Shots / Bildbyrån

The dates, times and schedule of the matches will be released at a later date. The qualification stage starts in 2023 and ends in 2025, divided into six continental football zones worldwide: CONCACAF (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia), UEFA (Europe), and OFC (Oceania).




Western Region:

Vancouver (BC Place Stadium)
Seattle (Lumen Field)
San Francisco Bay Area (Levi’s Stadium)
Los Angeles Inglewood (SoFi Stadium)
Guadalajara (Estadio Akron)

Central Region:

Kansas City (Arrowhead Stadium)
Dallas (AT&T Stadium)
Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
Houston (NRG Stadium)
Monterrey (BBVA Bancomer Stadium)
Mexico City (Azteca Stadium)

Eastern Region:

Toronto (BMO Field)
Boston (Gillette Stadium)
Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field)
Miami (Hard Rock Stadium)
New York/New Jersey (MetLife Stadium)


2026 World Cup: 48 countries, 16 groups, 6 stages, 80 matches

At the World Cup football, during the finals in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, there will also be several time zones. The final tournament will have 80 matches due to the number of 48 participating countries. The maximum number of participating country teams at the FIFA World Cup Soccer has been 32 so far. At the 2026 edition, the first round, the group stage, consists of sixteen groups of three countries. This already makes up 48 matches on the schedule. The knockout stage starts with the round of 32 (the 16th finals).

2026 World Cup host cities and stadiums: from 22 to 16

The 2026 FIFA World Cup has sixteen host cities (and stadiums). These are divided out as follows: 11 World Cup cities in the United States, 2 World Cup cities in Canada as well as 3 World Cup cities in Mexico. In July 2021, Montreal (Canada) withdrew as a contender. There are currently 22 candidate FIFA World Cup 2026 host cities, of which seventeen are located in the United States; probably seven of them will drop out in the course of Q1 / Q2 2022. The outcome of the selection process will be April rather than March, FIFA states. These dates, as a consequence of the postponed FIFA visits to the cities, have been delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

2026 World Cup final

The 2026 FIFA World Cup final in North America will take place in New York/New Jersey at the MetLife Stadium. The opening match of the World Cup will be held in Los Angeles (Rose Bowl) or in Mexico City (Azteca Stadium). The aforementioned information is subject to final decisions and is part of the successful Bid United of the host countries: the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

2026 World Cup football draw and final draw

The Preliminary Draw of the World Cup 2026 soccer is planned to take place in July of 2023. This draw determines the grouping of all qualifying zones of the world’s football continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Oceania, and North, Central America and the Caribbean. The FIFA World Cup final draw is planned to take place by the end of 2025.

2026 World Cup Soccer
Pro Shots / Zuma Press

2026 World Cup format

For a general summary of the World Cup format of the 2026 edition in North America – the most important things you should know – please click on previous link. Click on qualification format in order to get to know the format regarding the qualifiers of all FIFA-members from AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, UEFA, and OFC. As mentioned, the qualification period for the 2026 finals runs from 2023 to 2025. You can also find information about the final 80 matches at the 2026 North American World Cup stadiums: the schedule and final tournament format consisting of the group stage, round of 32, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, match for third and fourth place, and the final.

Soccer World Championship North America

The FIFA World Cup takes place every four years, with France being the reigning world champion (2018). In 2022, a new football world champion will be crowned in Qatar, who will then kick off the qualifying series of the 2026 World Cup in North America as a titleholder. The 23rd FIFA World Cup will celebrate its 96th anniversary in 2026.

See also: UEFA Women’s EURO schedule

World Cup 2026 News