MIRROR Online, LONDON, England, By Tom Victor – The schedule for the 2026 World Cup has been announced, with New York/New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium hosting the final and Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca holding the opening fixture.
Mexico, Canada and the United States will all host a varying amount of matches during the tournament. It will be the first 48-team World Cup, after Argentina won the final 32-team edition in 2022.
Some 16 host cities have been chosen for the tournament, which will be the first held in North America since 1994. In total, there will be 104 matches played as national teams from across the world vie for victory.
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino was on hand to make the announcement of the schedule, joining actor and host Kevin Hart in the studio. Qualifying has already begun for some countries, with the South American qualifiers kicking off in 2023.
Mexico will take part in the opener, at the same venue which played host to the 1986 final. On that occasion, Argentina claimed a dramatic victory over West Germany, with Jorge Luis Burruchaga scoring the winner.
It isn’t the only venue in Mexico to be handed games. Monterrey and Guadalajara will also host games, as they did back in the 1986 edition.
Canada has two host cities to Mexico’s three, and Toronto will hold the country’s first ever men’s World Cup game. Vancouver has also been selected as a venue for the tournament, but Toronto is due to hold five games in the groups, including Canada’s first on June 12, 2026.
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino was present for the stadium announcement AFP via Getty Images
The United States will have more cities than their fellow hosts, with the United States kicking off their tournament in Los Angeles on June 12. The US reached the round of 16 in 2022, falling to The Netherlands.
The 2026 World Cup gets underway on June 11, 2026 and runs until the 19th of July. The 48 teams will be split into 12 groups of four, with a round of 32 introduced for the first time.
A number of nations who have never qualified before may well see the 48-team tournament as a great chance of making it for the first time. The hosts, meanwhile, will play their group games on home soil.
Fifa World Cup 2026 Schedule in full
The MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey will host the final Getty Images
June 11-27: Group stage. Matches will be held in Vancouver. Toronto, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Seattle, San Francisco. Los Angeles, Houston. Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta. Miami, Boston, Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey
June 29-July 3: Round of 32. All host cities except Guadalajara and Philadelphia. Los Angeles and Dallas host two.
July 4-7: Round of 16, with matches in Vancouver, Seattle, Mexico City, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey.
July 9-11: Quarter-finals, in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami and Boston.
July 14-15: Semi-finals, in Dallas and Atlanta, rounding out an all-US quarters and semis schedule.
Top Feature Photo: Argentina-v-France Final FIFA World Cup – Qatar2022 – Argentina will go into the 2026 World Cup as defending champions Image: Getty Images