2026 World Cup | Format

World Cup 2026 Format
Pro Shots / Zuma Press

These are the most important things you should know about the FIFA World Cup format in North America in 2026, with host countries the United States, Canada and Mexico. In a nutshell:

  • The tournament to be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico will be the 23rd men’s football FIFA World Cup
  • For the first time ever, the football World Cup will be held in three host countries
  • There are a total of sixteen host cities, with 23 Candidate Host Cities currently
  • A record number of 48 countries will participate in the finals
  • The World Cup will be held in the summer of 2026, with exact match dates to follow
  • The qualification period in the six FIFA Zones will run from 2023 to 2025
  • The 2026 World Cup in North America be held in four time zones
  • A total of 80 matches are scheduled
  • The group stage starts with sixteen groups of three countries
  • This will be followed by the knock-outs, starting from the round of 32
  • The World Cup final in 2026 will be held in the MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey (subject to change)