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FIFA to decide if Mexico will be given more matches at 2026 World Cup

The next edition of the World Cup will see the number of games increase from 80 to 104 due to changes to the group stage format.

Ciudad de MéxicoUpdate:
It is not up to the Mexican Football Federation to achieve the extension of the role of matches for the 2026 World Cup after the increase from 80 to 104 due to the change in the format of the group stage.
Harold Cunningham - FIFAGetty

Whether Mexico hosts more than 10 matches at the 2026 World Cup will be a decision for FIFA alone to make. The next edition of the tournament will consist of 104 matches, instead of 80 and that means that matches must be redistributed between each of the three host countries: Mexico, the United States and Canada. It is possible that the portion that corresponds to Mexico will be increased - but that will depend entirely on what the tournament organisers decide.

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Format change

FIFA announced in mid-March that the 2026 World Cup will feature 48 national teams divided into 12 groups of four - contrary to its original plan for the most comprehensive expansion the tournament has ever seen - the idea of having 16 groups of three teams has been ditched. FIFA opted to maintain the current format after observing how the group stage of Qatar 2022 was dramatically concluded. Initially, the Zurich-based body was reluctant to significantly increase the total number of matches, which is why they have decided to compress the first round of the tournament. The final schedule now includes 72 group stage matches, instead of the current 48, and 32 of the knockout rounds (round of 32, round of 16, quarter finals, semi-finals and final).

The Akron Stadium, in Zapopan, Jalisco, will be one of the venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
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The Akron Stadium, in Zapopan, Jalisco, will be one of the venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.Isabel

In 2017, FIFA approved the expansion of its flagship competition: from 32 to 48 participants and 80 matches. The division of the calendar had been as follows: the United States will hosts 60 matches, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 each. The new provision will force an adjustment that, in addition, maintains the percentages equally for each co-organizer. However, the FMF is not in a position to unilaterally request an increase. The decision only corresponds to FIFA, as AS has learned. The FMF will be in the best disposition to receive more games if FIFA so considers. As of the moment, none of the three countries know how the calendar will be redistributed.

In 2022, FIFA and the 2026 World Cup Organizing Committee made official the 16 host cities/stadiums for the tournament. Mexico contributed thre venues - Guadalajara (Akron stadium), Monterrey (BBVA stadium) and Mexico City (Azteca stadium); Canada, only two and the United States, the remaining 11.

2023, more details about the 2026 and 2030 World Cups

During 2023, FIFA will gradually reveal more details about the next World Cup. It is expected that by mid-year, the governing body will publish the official logo of the 2026 World Cup. In addition, in June it will approve the regulations for the host concession process for the 2030 edition, which will be voted on at the 74th FIFA Congress, in 2024.


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