The United States, Canada and Mexico will host the next FIFA World Cup in 2026. After concluding the most important tournament at the national team level in Qatar, now the world looks to the three countries of North America.
It will be the first time that a World Cup has a triple venue; Previously there was only one joint World Cup and it was 2002 organized by South Korea and Japan. The United States, Canada and Mexico were chosen by FIFA in June 2018, prior to the World Cup in Russia that same year.
The project organized by the countries of North America has some modifications, starting with 16 cities spread over the three nations. In Mexico, the FIFA chose Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City; meanwhile, Canada will participate in Toronto and Vancouver.
For its part, the United States will have the largest share with Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. So far it is unknown where and in which stadium the final will be played and if there will be a joint inauguration or one in each country.
However, the most striking change is the participation of 48 teams and not 32 as it was designated for the first time in France 1998. This choice has generated controversy mainly due to the format that the World Cup will have, since there will be 16 groups with 3 teams each.
Faced with this situation, the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino and the organizing committee, continue to analyze the possibility of changing the competition format. Other attractive formats for the organization are 12 groups of 4 where three teams would classify.
international media affirm that FIFA is prioritizing business and not sport, the latter due to the fact that there will be more than 100 games and not 64 as it was in past editions. In addition, the 48-team format generates various conflicts such as not playing final matches at the same time or how many qualifiers there will be for the final instances.
According to Infantino, choosing The United States, Canada and Mexico was the best option to promote and facilitate access to soccer in the region. Additionally, he called on North American investors and authorities to take advantage of the potential of hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
It should be noted, FIFA and the organizing committee of the three countries will have three and a half years to analyze and work on what will be the biggest World Cup in football history. From comprehensive and sustainable renovation projects in stadiums, logistics and match designation, to immigration issues in between United States, Mexico and Canada.
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