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When is the next World Cup?

The 2022 World Cup may still be fresh in the memory but qualifying for the next World Cup has already begun in several continents across the world. But when is the next World Cup and who are the hosts? Find out everything you need to know, below.

When is the next World Cup?
The next FIFA World be cup will be unique for a variety of reasons – Photo by Icon sport

When is the next World Cup? Dates, hosts, format, teams

The next World Cup is set to take place in 2026. Unlike the Qatar World Cup in 2022, the tournament is set to be played during the summer with the first match scheduled for June and the final pencilled in for July. Qatar was the first World Cup that was played in the winter but it might not be the last with Saudi Arabia the favourites to host the 2034 edition of the tournament.

World Cup 2026 hosts

The 2026 World Cup is the first FIFA World Cup in history to have three separate hosts with Mexico, USA and Canada all set to be on hosting duties. The only other World Cup to have multiple hosts was the 2002 tournament which was split between Japan and South Korea in what was the first World Cup to be played in Asia.

Both of these tournaments will be trumped by the 2030 World Cup which will see games played in six countries across three continents to mark the 100th year anniversary of the World Cup.

The host cities and stadiums for the 2026 World Cup have already been announced. The USA are set to take the bulk of the matches while just five cities and stadiums have been selected across Mexico and Canada. The full list as follows:

Mexico

  • Guadalajara – Estadio Akron
  • Mexico City – Estadio Azteca
  • Monterrey – Estadio BBVA

Canada

  • Toronto – BMO Field
  • Vancouver – BC Place Vancouver

USA

  • Atlanta – Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Boston – Gillette Stadium
  • Dallas – AT&T Stadium
  • Houston – NRG Stadium
  • Kansas City – Arrowhead Stadium
  • Los Angeles – SoFi Stadium
  • Miami – Hard Rock Stadium
  • New York – MetLife Stadium
  • Philadelphia – Lincoln Financial Field
  • San Francisco – Levi's Stadium
  • Seattle – Lumen Field
The MetLife Stadium
The MetLife Stadium is in with a chance of hosting the World Cup final in July 2026 – Photo by Icon sport

World Cup 2026 format

The format for the 2026 World Cup will be completely different from all other previous World Cups. The tournament is being expanded from 32 to 48 teams which means there will now be 104 games played instead of the 64 that were played in Qatar.

The 48 nations will be split into 12 groups of four with the top two qualifying for the first knockout round as normal. The eight best third-placed teams will also qualify for the first knockout round, which is set to be a round of 32 as opposed to a round of 16.

This extra round means that teams will have to now win four knockout round matches to progress through to the World Cup final, making this the most difficult World Cup to win of all time. To win the tournament, the winning nation will have to play eight matches across the group stages and knockout rounds.

The official bracket tournament bracket will be revealed upon completion of the draw once all 48 teams have qualified. It is expected that there will still be incentives for teams to finish top of their group like in previous World Cups.

World Cup 2026 teams

As hosts, the USA, Canada and Mexico have already qualified for the 2026 World Cup and as things stand, they are the only three teams to definitely be at the tournament. Qualifying has already begun in Africa, Asia, South America and North America while in Europe, qualifying will begin after the Euro 2024 this summer. In Oceania, qualifying will begin in September 2024.


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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