The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is currently ongoing and fans have been steadily streaming into the gulf country for weeks now, excited to cheer on their favourite teams. But as the tournament nears its final two weeks—the closing ceremony will be held on December 18—many are now wondering which country will host the next one. Speculations abound as competitions are typically fierce among bidding countries who want the prestige and financial boost that come with being a World Cup host.
It appears that fans and insiders won’t have to wait for long to find out, as it’s been revealed ahead that United States, Canada, and Mexico will jointly host World Cup 2026.
At a press conference conducted in New York City on June 16, 2022 which was live-streamed all around the world, FIFA revealed the locations and cities that will host the World Cup 2026. Out of the 23 cities chosen by the “United Bid,” 16 venues in all were picked by FIFA: 11 venues in the United States, 3 in Mexico, and 2 in Canada.
Learning from experience facing the tricky travel arrangement and strict restrictions made by Qatar for this round of World Cup, fans around the world may be eager to start browsing for (super) early bird flight tickets along with accommodations to visit the next host countries. As they still have plenty of time, it should still be easy to find cheap flight tickets and hotels online through reputable travel websites such as wego.qa.
80 matches played by 48 teams will be divided throughout the region’s three main countries and it will be the largest World Cup in history. Notably, this is the first time the World Cup is being hosted by three different nations. The last time the football tournament was hosted by multiple hosts was in 2022 with co-hosts South Korea and Japan.
Mexico will likely be the first nation to host three World Cups so far: in 1970, in 1986, and later in 2026. The United States, which hosted in 1994, will shortly join Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France, and Germany as nations that have hosted more than one World Cup events. Meanwhile, Canada previously has already hosted a FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and a FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup in 2007.
It’s also announced that the 32-team system used since the 1998 World Cup in France will be replaced with an enlarged structure for the first time at the 2026 World Cup. A 48-nation tournament will have a 50% larger field than before. This will increase the number of teams competing by 16 and result in more games being played during the tournament.
The greatest number of games that every team might play under the new structure, according to FIFA, would still be seven for each finalist. The group stage of the 2026 World Cup will include 16 groups of three teams each. The top two teams from each group will then proceed to a knockout stage with 32 teams, which is expected to produce a thrilling spectacle for fans worldwide.