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When and where is the next soccer World Cup?

No sooner has the four-week action in Qatar 2022 come to an end than fans start to ponder the next one.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks at FIFA/Frito Lay news conference ahead of 2026 World Cup while the Official FIFA World Cup Trophy is displayed in New York City, New York, U.S., June 17, 2022.

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the last four weeks in Qatar as we have witnessed some stunning play, inspirational stories as well as a fair selection of shocks. The 2022 World Cup controversies off the pitch will, and should, continue to be investigated, but the overarching headline on the recently added grass is that Argentina is the champion of the world, while Lionel Messi stamps himself firmer into the conversation about who is the greatest player ever.

But with the final whistle on Sunday comes the conclusion to the 64 games we have witnessed in the first ever late-calendar year World Cup. Fans return their attention to the domestic and continental club competitions, but a thought is thrown in the direction of the next edition.

World Cup 2026: USA, Mexico, Canada

So to 2026 and, assuming no pandemic or other monstrous events get in the way, we’ll be heading for another first. This time FIFA’s showpiece tournament will take place in three countries, those of Mexico, the USA and Canada. It will also be the first in which 48 nations participate, 16 more than in Qatar and in the previous seven World Cups, with the expectation that teams will be split into 16 groups of three, with two of those three teams progressing to the round of 32, implying one extra knockout round in comparison to the current format. This is yet to be fully signed off.

As you can see from the list above, we have a diverse mix of host cities for the first tri-nation FIFA World Cup. The North American continent will offer its coastal cities with mountainous back drops, as well as the hustle and bustle of places like Atlanta and and New York.

Up north across the border Canada will undoubtedly showcase the multicultural melting pot that is Toronto. Then to south we will certainly see the timeless history of the central peninsula as the ancient Mexico City and the mountain encircled Monterrey play host to football’s greatest fiesta.

World Cup 2026 changes

There has been some talk about FIFA potentially introducing penalty shootouts into the group stage. As it currently stands, teams pick up three points for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a loss. The idea being discussed would see the shootout provide a bonus point for the winning team (rather than the full three for a win) and it could even take place before the actual game.


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