2026 WORLD CUP FOOTBALL

FIFA™ | United States of America, Canada & Mexico

2026 World Cup | Preliminary Draw

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The Preliminary Draws for the World Cup 2026 football take place from July, 2023 onwards. These draws determine the first groups of the qualifying zones of the several world’s soccer continents. Each nation is aiming for FIFA World Cup football success, and will start the qualification process in its FIFA Zone. This will either be in the Asian Zone (AFC), African zone (CAF), North, Central American and Caribbean zone (CONCACAF), South American zone (CONMEBOL), Oceania zone (OFC), or European zone (UEFA). The Preliminary draw reveales the first groups for the several, continental qualification stages. After this draw, each nation knows its opponents, as well as the dates of its first matches, aiming to advance towards North America.

These Preliminary draw dates are already known:

Preliminary draw African qualifiers

July 12, 2023 | Preliminary draw groups CAF. That is the evening before the 45th CAF Ordinary General Assembly. Location: Cotonou, Benin.

Round 1

POT 1POT 2POT 3
MoroccoBurkina FasoUganda
SenegalGhanaBenin
TunisiaSouth AfricaMauritania
AlgeriaCape VerdeKenya
EgyptDR CongoCongo
NigeriaGuineaMadagascar
CameroonZambiaGuinea-Bissau
MaliGabonNamibia
Ivory CoastEquatorial GuineaAngola
POT 4POT 5POT 6
MozambiqueNigerLesotho
GambiaComorosSouth Sudan
Sierra LeoneSudanMauritius
TogoRwandaChad
TanzaniaBurundiSão Tomé and Príncipe
ZimbabweEthiopiaDjibouti
Central African RepublicEswatiniSeychelles
MalawiBotswanaEritrea
LibyaLiberiaSomalia

Result draw World Cup football CAF Round 1

GROUP A
Egypt
Burkina Faso
Guinea-Bissau
Sierra Leone
Ethiopia
Djibouti

GROUP B
Senegal
Congo DR
Mauritania
Togo
Sudan
South Sudan

GROUP C
Nigeria
South Africa
Benin
Zimbabwe
Rwanda
Lesotho

GROUP D
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Angola
Libya
Eswatini
Mauritius

GROUP E
Morocco
Zambia
Congo
Tanzania
Niger
Eritrea

GROUP F
Côte d’Ivoire
Gabon
Kenya
The Gambia
Burundi
Seychelles

GROUP G
Algeria
Guinea
Uganda
Mozambique
Botswana
Somalia

GROUP H
Tunisia
Equatorial Guinea
Namibia
Malawi
Liberia
Sao Tome e Principe

GROUP I
Mali
Ghana
Madagascar
Central African Republic
Comoros
Chad

Preliminary draw Asian qualifiers

July, 27, 2023 | Draw first qualification groups AFC. This concerns the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 as well as Round 2.

Round 1

POT 1 (FIFA RANKING 27-36)POT 2 (FIFA RANKING 37-46)
Hong Kong (China)Macau
IndonesiaMongolia
Chinese TaipeiBhutan
MaldivesLaos
YemenBangladesh
AfghanistanBrunei Darussalam
SingaporeTimor-Leste
MyanmarPakistan
NepalGuam
CambodiaSri Lanka

Result draw World Cup football AFC Round 1

Afghanistan – Mongolia
Maldives – Bangladesh
Singapore – Guam
Yemen – Sri Lanka
Myanmar – Macau
Cambodia – Pakistan
Chinese Taipei – Timor-Leste
Indonesia – Brunei Darussalam
Hong Kong (China) – Bhutan
Nepal – Laos

Round 2

POT 1 (FIFA RANKING 1-9)POT 2 (FIFA RANKING 10-18)POT 3 (FIFA RANKING 19-27)POT 4 (WINNERS ROUND 1)
JapanUzbekistanLebanonWinner Round 1
Islamic Republic of IranChina PRTajikistanWinner Round 1
AustraliaJordanThailandWinner Round 1
Korea RepublicBahrainDPR KoreaWinner Round 1
Saudi ArabiaSyriaPhilippinesWinner Round 1
QatarVietnamMalaysiaWinner Round 1
IraqPalestineKuwaitWinner Round 1
United Arab EmiratesKyrgyz RepublicTurkmenistanWinner Round 1
OmanIndiaWinner Round 1Winner Round 1

Result draw World Cup football AFC Round 2

GROUP A
Qatar
India
Kuwait

Afghanistan / Mongolia

GROUP B
Japan
Syria
DPR Korea

Myanmar / Macau

GROUP C
Korea Republic
China PR
Thailand

Singapore / Guam

GROUP D
Oman
Kyrgyz Republic
Malaysia

Chinese Taipei / Timor-Leste

GROUP E
IR Iran
Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan

Hong Kong (China) / Bhutan

GROUP F
Iraq
Vietnam
Philippines

Indonesia / Brunei Darussalam

GROUP G
Saudi Arabia
Jordan
Tajikistan

Cambodia / Pakistan

GROUP H
United Arab Emirates
Bahrain

Yemen / Sri Lanka
Nepal / Laos

GROUP I
Australia
Palestine
Lebanon

Maldives / Bangladesh

Schedule qualifiers

An explanation of the World Cup qualification and schedule for each continent, can be found at: Schedule/Qualifiers. This is where you will find the set-up and, when they’re available, the results of the draw, the schedule with all matches, results and rankings.

Participating nations: how many will qualify per FIFA zone?

It is ultimately up to each country to rank among the (record) 48 2026 World Cup participant countries. Out of Europe (UEFA), 16 countries will qualify; 9 from FIFA zone Africa (CAF); 8 out of Asia (AFC); 6 out of North America, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF); 6 out of South America (CONMEBOL); and one from Oceania (OFC). The last two countries will be the result of a ‘second chance’ mini tournament for which two CONCACAF countries, one CAF country, one AFC country, one CONMEBOL country, and one OFC country will qualify as a result of their performance in their previous qualifiers for the World Cup in North America.

Qualification matches: when?

The 2026 World Cup qualification matches will be held between 2023 to 2025.


Original information from the BID United, which is no longer applicable (!):

World Cup 2026 Preliminary Draw (optional) host: Miami, Florida or Washington, DC

The Preliminary Draw is scheduled to take place in either Miami or in Washington. Both cities have the appropriate locations, and the capacity, for hosting an event welcoming representatives of all the world’s nations. This has been stated in the United BID.

Update June 16, 2022: Washington has not been selected as a final host city. This reduces the chances of Washington being chosen as the location for the draw.

Possible Preliminary draw location Miami

The draw venue in Miami would be the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Possible Preliminary draw location Washington

The draw venue in Washington would be the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Both sites have been selected for their accessible location, large international airports and a wide range of hotels nearby. As a result, Miami and Washington DC are both well positioned to welcome visitors from all over the world and provide them with a high level of service. Miami has the most non-stop international flights in the US, and Washington DC is already home to nearly 180 embassies. The draw for the 2026 World Cup qualification period will include all 211 FIFA member countries. The draw determines the group in which the countries are to be placed and which opponents they will draw for the qualification stage. There are six qualification zones worldwide. The exact set-up of the qualification format differs per FIFA continent. In any case, it will start with an initial qualification group for each country, possibly followed by a second qualification group and/or playoffs, sometimes intercontinental.


Main Info


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FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFIcation

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.


2026 HOST CITies & STADIUMS

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.