2026 World Cup host selectors to pick 16 cities across North America by year end

January 27 – FIFA plans to appoint host cities for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico by the last quarter of this year.

Football’s world governing body has published its timetable for the selection process that will include virtual meetings with stadium managers starting in February, in-person visits at the end of July followed by whittling down 23 candidates to a probable 16 for the first ever 48-nation World Cup.

“Bearing in mind the constantly changing circumstances with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA and the host associations are aiming to start the venue visits in the candidate host cities at the beginning of July,” FIFA said.

Officials would visit venues only if the health and safety situation in the host countries allows them to.

“Provided the aforementioned venue visits are conducted, FIFA and the host associations aim to have the host cities appointed by the FIFA Council in the last quarter of 2021,” Fifa added.

The cities vying to be selected are Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto (Canada), Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey (Mexico) and, from the USA, Atlanta, San Francisco Bay Area, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Seattle and Washington .

Reports suggest all three venues in Canada and Mexico could get the nod, along with 10 from the USA.

Most of the venues in the United States will be NFL stadiums, with the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets expected to host the final on July 12, 2026.

The first World Cup with 48 teams will also have 80 games instead of the current 64.

“Realizing the commercial potential of each venue, as well as in terms of sustainability, human rights and event legacy, is of the utmost importance,” FIFA said.

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