FIFA to name 2026 World Cup cities by next April

Organisers will reveal the FIFA World Cup 2026 venues by April of next year as officials near the conclusion of all site visits across the US, Canada and Mexico.

FIFA chief tournaments and events officer Colin Smith said all inspections should be completed by the end of this month, with a decision on the successful North American cities expected sometime toward the end of March or early April.

Smith said it is likely 16 cities will be selected for the 80 games due to be played in the first FIFA World Cup to feature 48 nations.

A FIFA and CONCACAF delegation this week completed an assessment of eight cities that are being considered after visiting nine in September. They travelled to Seattle, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterrey and San Francisco. The delegation had previously visited Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami and the New York-New Jersey area in September.

Another series of visits is coming up this month to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles, Edmonton and Toronto.

“Certainly, the decision is getting harder and harder with every stop, which I guess is a good problem to have,” Smith told reporters.

“Ultimately, it’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle of all these different areas. To break down the magic of a World Cup is obviously incredibly difficult so the only way to do it is really to look at all the constituent groups.”

San Francisco, the home of Levi’s Stadium, produced this promotional video to accompany its bid presentation.

The United 2026 blueprint is expected to result in Canada and Mexico hosting 10 games apiece, with the US staging the remaining 60, including all matches from the quarter-finals onwards.

The United 2026 bid from the US, Canada and Mexico was awarded hosting rights to the tournament back in June 2018 after defeating a rival bid from Morocco.

Image: Trac Vu on Unsplash