As the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar nears its conclusion, many fans already have their sights on the 2026 World Cup.
The international event will take place in North America, with the United States, Canada and Mexico all sharing hosting duties. It will be the first time in the men's tournament's history that three countries have been co-hosts, with the 2002 version in Japan and South Korea being the only other time with two countries.
This is one of several changes in the upcoming tournament, with the most notable being the inclusion of 48 teams instead of 32.
Here is everything else you need to know about the 2026 World Cup.
June 8 - July 3
- Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Boston – Gillette Stadium
- Dallas – AT&T Stadium
- Houston – NRG Stadium
- Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium
- Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium
- Miami – Hard Rock Stadium
- New York/New Jersey – MetLife Stadium
- Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
- San Francisco – Levi’s Stadium
- Seattle – Lumen Field
- Toronto – BMO Field
- Vancouver – BC Place
- Guadalajara – Estadio Akron
- Mexico City – Estadio Azteca
- Monterrey – Estadio BBVA
The United States will host a majority of matches during the tournament. All of the knockout stage matches from the quarterfinal onward will take place in the United States, including the final.
Arguably the biggest question mark regarding the 2026 World Cup is the format featuring 48 teams.
FIFA initially planned to have 16 groups of three, with two teams in each group advancing to knockout stage beginning with a round of 32. However, Matt Slater of The Athletic noted the downsides to the format, including the final two teams in the group stage colluding on a result that is mutually beneficial.
Without having all teams playing at the same time, it's nearly impossible to ensure fairness with each match.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is now FIFA's chief of global football, said the organization is now reconsidering the format, with two additional options being presented, per Dale Johnson of ESPN. One would have 12 groups of four teams, with the eight best third-place teams advancing into a round of 32. Another would split the World Cup into two separate halves of 24, featuring six groups of four, with the winners of each half meeting in the final.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino also provided an update on the change:
Another potential change under consideration is the addition of penalty kicks to settle draws in the group stage, per Martyn Ziegler of The Times.
In any case, the new formats will add significantly more matches to the overall tournament. It would create an exciting fan experience, although the players could end up suffering with an additional workload in the event.