World Cup 2026: Mexico and Canada will be supporting hosts – 02/05/2024 – The World Is a Ball

World Cup 2026: Mexico and Canada will be supporting hosts – 02/05/2024 – The World Is a Ball

FIFA’s release of the dates and locations of the 2026 World Cup matches, made this Sunday (4), shows that Mexico and Canada, as hosts as the USA, will in practice be supporting players in football’s biggest event.

In just over two years and four months the ball will roll for the 23rd edition of the World Cup, held since 1930, for the first time in a bloated format with 48 teams – from 1998, the year of the last addition of countries, to 2022, 32 participated .

The USA – hosted in 1994, when Brazil won the fourth place by beating Italy on penalties – will host 78 of the 104 matches of the 2026 World Cup, 75% of the total. Three of every four clashes will be in the country. Mexico and Canada will each host 13 games.

The leading role of the USA, owner of the largest economy in the world, will become even more evident from the quarter-finals onwards. From this stage onwards, the eight teams still alive will always play in American arenas.

Therefore, unless the Mexico and Canada teams advance to this stage, the World Cup will be over for both nations, as their stadiums will no longer be selected.

An email was sent to FIFA requesting justifications for the difference in treatment given to the host countries, but until the publication of this text there was no response.

The number of arenas selected for the World Cup is another point that highlights the disparity between the USA and the Mexico/Canada duo in the competition.

Of the 16 stadiums, 11 are in the USA, in the same number of cities (Arlington, Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Inglewood, Kansas City, Miami, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Santa Clara and Seattle). Mexico will have three (one in Mexico City, one in Guadalupe, one in Zapopan), and Canada, two (one in Toronto, one in Vancouver).

The World Cup final will be at the MetLife stadium, in East Rutherford (New Jersey), which can receive 82,500 fans, on July 19, 2026, a Sunday. One day earlier, Miami will host the third place match at Hard Rock Stadium.

The opening game will take place at the mythical Azteca stadium, in Mexico City, with capacity for 87,500 fans and the stage for the 1970 (Brazil 4 x 1 Italy) and 1986 (Argentina 3 x 2 West Germany) World Cup decisions. ).

This match, on June 11, 2026, a Thursday, will necessarily feature the Mexican team.

Canada will debut on the 12th, at BMO Field, in Toronto. That same day, the USA will play at SoFi Stadium, in Inglewood, Greater Los Angeles.

The teams from the USA, Mexico and Canada, for obvious reasons, will always play within their respective borders in the group stage.

The 2026 World Cup will have 12 seedings in the first phase, four more than in Qatar-2022. They will advance to the first knockout phase, which will have 32 teams, the first two from each group plus the eight best third-placed teams.

The tournament will last 39 days, ten more than the most recent World Cup in the Middle East, and seven more than the 2018 editions, in Russia, and 2014, in Brazil.

With the USA as the center of attention and Mexico and Canada as “appendices”, the 2026 World Cup will be the first with three venues.

In 2022, South Korea and Japan co-organized the World Cup, and the balance in the division of games was identical: each country received the same number of matches (32), respecting equality in the knockout stages.

Korean Seoul took the opening match (Senegal 1 x 0 France) and Japanese Yokohama took the final match (Brazil 2 x 0 Germany).

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