FIFA™ | United States of America, Canada & Mexico

2026 World Cup | Number of teams

48 countries will participate in the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America. This concerns the final round of the World Cup in the sixteen cities in the USA, Canada and Mexico. This is an expanded format, with the 48 teams contesting a total of 104 matches. At the FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022 there were 32 teams competing with a total of 64 matches. For the 2026 World Cup, FIFA’s belief is: ‘bigger is better’, resulting in the mentioned 48 competitors. A first in history.

The uniqueness of having 48 participants in the final round poses greater challenges for the composition of the match schedule and, for example, the minimum rest days each country must have. One of the advantages of the new 48-team format, is that there will be more matches to watch (no less dan 40 more than at a final tournament with 32 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar), as well as more players. Another advantage is the increased revenue from the 2026 World Cup TV and other broadcasting rights and, of course, the fact that the final tournament will be more exciting. It also means that millions of more fans can dream of ultimate World Cup success for twelve ‘extra’ countries, right up to the last few weeks and days.

Number of teams World Cup 2026 qualification

The battle to qualify will include 211 FIFA member countries. You can find more information elsewhere on this site regarding the format of the qualification for the 2026 World Cup and the distribution of the qualification groups across the six continental FIFA Zones.

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World Cup Football Qualifiers North America, Central America, Caribbean

Qualification North America, Central America, Caribbean

In North America, Central America and the Caribbean, the FIFA qualifiers run from March 18, 2024 to November 18, 2025. Six, seven or eight of the 32 participating CONCACAF nations qualify, joining hosts USA, Canada and Mexico.

World Cup Football Qualifiers South America

FIFA World Cup football Qualification South America

In South America, the FIFA World Cup qualifiers run from September 7, 2023 to September 9, 2025. A total of 10 CONMEBOL nations participate. Six to seven South American countries will qualify. There is one single round.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Europe

FIFA World Cup football qualification Europe

In Europe, the qualifiers run from March 17, 2025 to March 31, 2026. A total of 55 (of 54) UEFA nations participate. Sixteen European countries will qualify. There is one group stage (Round 1), followed by the European play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Asia

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Asia

In Asia, the World Cup qualification runs from October 12, 2023 to November, 2025. A total of 46 AFC nations participate. Eight or nine Asian countries will qualify. There are three qualifying rounds, before the play-offs.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Africa

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Africa

In Africa, the World Cup football qualifiers run from November 13, 2023 to November 18, 2025. A total of 54 CAF nations participate. Nine or ten African countries will qualify. There are two qualification rounds.

World Cup Football Qualifiers Oceania

FIFA World Cup football Qualification Oceania

In Oceania, the FIFA qualifiers for the World Cup football run from September, 2024 to March, 2025. Eleven OFC nations participate. One or two Oceanic countries qualify. There are three qualification rounds.


Host Cities USA

The 2026 American Dream: the United States is one of the three hosts of the FIFA World Cup Soccer in North America. The USA is the host country with the most - eleven - host cities.

Host Cities Canada

With Vancouver, and Toronto, Canada has two host cities for the world's football finals in North America in 2026. Get more information about the characteristics of these exciting and diverse, dynamic cities.

Host Cities Mexico

With Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico has three candidate host cities for the World Cup in 2026. Each host with its specific ambience, history, attractions, hotspots and other features.

Stadiums USA

The United States will have eleven stadiums for the FIFA 2026 World Cup. Click for more information about these fantastic and modern venues in the USA, and which matches they will host.

Stadiums Canada

During the 2026 World Cup finals, these are the two venues in Canada: BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, and BMO Field in Toronto. Find out more about these attractive Canadian stadiums.

Stadiums Mexico

In Mexico, the FIFA 2026 World Cup will take place in these stadiums: Estadio Akron in Guadalajara, the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and the BBVA Bancomer Stadium in Monterrey.