The 2026 World Cup is coming to North America – here's all you need to know

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World Cup trophy - generic version B

The 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the USA promises to be the biggest World Cup event ever held and it will be the first to feature an expanded 48-team field with a record 80 matches.

The winning bid submitted to FIFA established that Canada and Mexico will each host 10 matches, leaving 60 matches to be staged on US soil, including every match from the quarterfinal stage through to the championship match.

An estimated 5.8 million fans are expected to attend the matches with projected record profits for FIFA of $ 11 billion, funds that will be shared with the 211 FIFA member federations to help develop and expand the sport across the world.

While the three Concacaf neighbors will work to jointly manage preparations for the 2026 World Cup until FIFA sets up its operations to oversee the competition, there’s plenty left to be done in the coming months and years:

When is the World Cup taking place in 2026?

The specific dates will be set by FIFA in the future, including the date for the FIFA World Cup Official Draw which usually takes place the December before the tournament (in this case December 2025).

Which cities will host the World Cup matches?

According to the United Bid, FIFA will decide the host cities in 2020 or 2021. The final list will come from the 23 candidate cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States that were included as part of the bid.

Do Canada, Mexico and the USA automatically qualify?

While host nations have traditionally been granted automatic qualification for the World Cup, the decision to give automatic berths to Canada, Mexico and the USA will be made by the FIFA Council in the future along with details for the rest of the qualifying process in the rest of the world.

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