FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned Canada, Mexico, and the United States to prepare for a football “attack” on Thursday as the host nations for the 2026 World Cup revealed. The first World Cup hosted by three different countries will also see the record number of participating teams increase, from 16 to 32 to 48 as the tournament returns to North America for the first time since the 1994 finals. .
16 places were mentioned on Thursday including 11 in the United States, three in Mexico, and two in Canada.
All U.S. games will be held in venues that are home to NFL teams, with favorites of the $ 5 billion SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and the New York Giants’ 82,000-seater MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford tipped to host the final.
A total of 60 of the 80 games in the tournament – including all knockout games from the quarter-finals onwards – will take place at US venues.
The Azteca Stadium of Mexico City – hosted by the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals – is located between three Mexican venues including the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara.
Vancouver and Toronto will stage the Canadian Games in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Infantino says 2026 will overcome the 1994 finals in the United States – which became a record for the highest total attendance – in all respects.
“2026 will be very, very big,” Infantino said. “I think this part of the world does not know what will happen in 2026.
“These three countries will be turned on and then changed again. The world will hit Canada, Mexico and the United States.
“They will be invaded by a big wave of joy and happiness.”
Infantino said he hopes the World Cup will boost football development in the region further.
“In this part of the world you lead the world in many areas. But in the first sport in the world, soccer or football, you are not, however,” he said. “The venue must be leading the world in the first sport in the world.”
The decision on which venues will host marquee matches such as the World Cup finals and opening games has not yet been made.
“We still have to discuss that, we also have to analyze that,” Infantino said. “We will make a decision in due course.”
However Infantino points out that for the spread of a large area of competition planning in North America, FIFA is looking at base teams in local “clusters” to reduce travel.
“When dealing with such a large area as North America we need to care about the fans and make sure the teams are playing in clusters, that the fans and the teams do not have to travel crazy distances,” he said. Infantino said.
Super ekan pedigree
A list of US venues stretching from coast to coast, featuring several cities hosting games in the 1994 World Cup finals. However there are no exact stadiums from the 1994 competition that will be repeated in 2026.
Other venues include the Dallas Cowboys giant AT&T Stadium in Arlington and Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium. Seven of the 11 venues named Thursday hosted the Super Bowl.
The Arrowhead Stadium of the Kansas City Chiefs – the world’s most noisy stadium according to the Guinness Book of World Records – also made the cut.
NFL venues in Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston and Philadelphia are also on the list.
However there is no place for Washington DC on the list of venues. It means that the 2026 tournament will be the first World Cup since the 1974 finals in West Germany and then does not show a host capital.
Colin Smith, FIFA tournament director and event official, acknowledged Washington’s absence following the launch of the “surprise tournament”.
“This is a very difficult choice,” Smith said. “It’s hard to imagine a World Cup coming to the US and capital that doesn’t play a major role.”
Meanwhile Smith said some NFL venues will need some modifications to expand the “squeeze spaces” but said the stadium capacity is not limited.
“The number of fans who will be able to experience this World Cup will be double what we already have,” he said.
“The 1994 World Cup won for the record – and it will blow out of the water.”
(This story has not been edited by an NDTV staff and is automatically generated from an integrated feed.)
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