The 2026 World Cup, or FIFA World Cup 2026, which will also be called United 2026, will be the 23rd edition for men’s football.
The World Cup in Qatar has been criticized both in the assignment and in the construction phase: too many victims among the workers, so much so that some nations have discussed their participation and raised the possibility of a boycott. In the end, however, all the qualifiers decided to take part in the competition that saw Lionel Messi’s Argentina triumph.
The next 2026 World Cup, on the other hand, will be hosted in 3 countries that may not be at the center of the football universe but meet two requirements: they are completely or almost free from complicated political issues, at least in a less central and controversial way, and at the same time they have audiences of fans ready to fall in love with this game. Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming 2026 World Cup.
The 2026 World Cup will not be played in just one location, and this is not the first time this has happened, given that in 2021 we had a traveling European Championship. The finals of the 2026 World Cup will take place simultaneously in three countries: The United States (10 cities), Mexico (3 cities), and Canada (3 cities).
These are three very different nations in terms of football passion and experience organizing football competitions. If the World Cup has already taken place in Mexico and the USA, then Canada is betting a lot on the 2026 World Cup to relaunch the football brand and generally confirm its rise.
Qualifying for the 2026 World Cup will, as always, be a long group stage, but the final tournament of the 2026 World Cup will take place from May 25 to July 4, 2026.
The 2026 World Cup has been at the center of controversy for the expansion of the number of participants in the final phase from 32 to 48, a number considered too high but designed to offer such an important showcase to some emerging countries.
The final tournament will thus be divided into sixteen groups of three teams each, with a total of 80 matches to watch. The United States will host 60 games, including all three finals (quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final). Canada and Mexico will each host 10 games.
United 2026 only beat Morocco’s strong candidacy in the final vote of the 68th FIFA Congress held in Moscow on June 13, 2018. This is the first time for 3 nations, while in 2002 there were only two (South Korea and Japan). As mentioned, Mexico has already hosted the World Cups in 1970 and 1986 and is the first nation to do so 3 times. The USA has already hosted the 1994 edition, while for Canada it is the first time; the 2026 World Cup will stop there too.
If the formula of the 2026 World Cup will cause discussion, the composition reflects the idea of Infantino and FIFA to try to relaunch football by expanding the target nations of such an important competition. In fact, here is the composition of the 2026 World Cup:
The hosts of the 2026 World Cup (i.e., the USA, Mexico, and Canada) will automatically qualify, while the bottom two national teams will have to pass a six-team tournament with one participant from each association, excluding UEFA. The playoffs in fact aim, like the whole competition, to present national teams that have rarely appeared on such an important stage.
Where exactly will the next World Cup be played? Here are cities and stadiums:
USA: cities and stadiums
Mexico: cities and stadiums
Canada: cities and stadiums