World Cup 2026 Everything you need to know about the biggest football festival on the planet

The 2026 World Cup will be the 23rd World Cup, organized by the International Football Federation (FIFA). This is the first time the tournament is held in 3 countries: America, Canada and Mexico. Online Casino sends you the final round schedule that will take place from June 8 to July 3, 2026, with 48 national teams participating. The number of participating teams increased from 32 teams in previous World Cups, promising to bring a more thrilling and exciting tournament than ever.

Host location and format of the 2026 World Cup tournament

Host location


The 2026 World Cup will be held in 16 cities in three host countries:

  • United States:  New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle
  • Canada:  Toronto, Vancouver
  • Mexico:  Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey

Tournament format

The 2026 World Cup will include four main rounds:

  • Group stage:  48 teams are divided into 16 groups, each group has 3 teams. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the round of 16.
  • Round of 16:  The 32 teams that pass the group stage will compete in a simple knockout competition.
  • Quarter-finals:  The 16 winners of the round of 16 will face each other for one of eight places in the semi-finals.
  • Semi-finals, third place match and final:  The four best teams will compete in knockout matches to determine the 2026 World Cup champion.

Lineups and forces of teams participating in the 2026 World Cup

The 48 teams qualifying for the 2026 World Cup will be determined through regional qualifiers, taking place from 2023 to 2025. Participating teams will be divided into four seeded groups based on the following FIFA Rankings elimination round, qualifying round.

Some notable teams participating in the 2026 World Cup are expected to include:

  • Group 1:  Brazil, Argentina, France, Belgium, England, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal
  • Group 2:  Germany, Uruguay, Mexico, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Croatia
  • Group 3:  United States, Canada, Senegal, Poland, Iran, Peru, Colombia, Chile
  • Group 4:  Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Australia, Qatar, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Ecuador

Candidates to win the 2026 World Cup and each team’s chances

With the participation of many strong teams, the 2026 World Cup promises to be an extremely attractive and unpredictable tournament. Some of the top championship contenders include:

  • Brazil:  The five-time world champion team is still the brightest candidate thanks to the squad possessing many excellent attacking players such as Neymar, Vinicius Junior and Richarlison.
  • Argentina:  The defending Copa America champion has an even squad with many top stars such as Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Rodrigo De Paul.
  • France:  The team that won the 2018 World Cup has many young talents such as Kylian Mbappé, Aurélien Tchouaméni and Christopher Nkunku.
  • England:  The Euro 2020 runner-up has a generation of talented young players such as Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka.
  • Netherlands:  The team led by coach Louis van Gaal has shown its strength at the 2022 World Cup and will be a formidable opponent at the 2026 World Cup.

Schedule and key matches of the 2026 World Cup

The official match schedule of the 2026 World Cup has not yet been announced. However, the group stage is scheduled to take place from June 8 to June 29, the round of 16 from July 1 to July 4, the quarter-finals from July 6 to July 9, the round of 16 from July 1 to July 4. semi-finals on 11 July and 12 July, third place match on 15 July and final on 19 July.

Some key matches worth looking forward to at the 2026 World Cup include:

  • Opening match between home team United States and 2022 World Cup runner-up, France (expected)
  • The “Super Classic” match between Brazil and Argentina
  • Match between England and Germany
  • Match between defending champion Argentina and Euro 2020 champion, Italy
  • World Cup 2026 final

New technology will be used at the 2026 World Cup

FIFA is planning to use a number of new technologies at the 2026 World Cup to enhance the fan experience and improve match quality. Some of the technologies being considered include:

  • Goal-line technology:  This technology was used at the 2014 World Cup and helps the referee accurately determine whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not.
  • VAR technology:  The video assistant referee (VAR) system was used at the 2018 World Cup and helped the referee make more accurate decisions. FIFA is expected to continue using VAR at the 2026 World Cup and will consider additional enhancements to improve the system’s performance.
  • Smart Ball:  FIFA is working with equipment suppliers to develop a smart ball that can transmit real-time data on the ball’s position, speed and trajectory. This technology can help referees make more accurate decisions and provide new insights to fans and experts.
  • Smart stadiums:  FIFA is working to equip World Cup 2026 stadiums with smart technologies, such as powerful Wi-Fi connections, giant screens and mobile apps that enhance high fan experience.

Things to know about the ball and stadium of the 2026 World Cup


FIFA has not yet announced the official ball of the 2026 World Cup. However, FIFA’s official equipment supplier Adidas is expected to continue producing balls for the tournament. The 2026 World Cup ball will likely have similar features to the 2022 World Cup ball, such as smart ball technology and sustainable design.


16 stadiums will be used for the 2026 World Cup, including 10 stadiums in the United States, 3 stadiums in Canada and 3 stadiums in Mexico. The official stadium of the 2026 World Cup final will be MetLife Stadium in New York City, USA.

Economic and social impact of World Cup 2026

The 2026 World Cup is expected to have a major economic and social impact on the host countries. According to a FIFA study, this tournament can bring about 5 billion USD to the economy of the host countries. In addition, the 2026 World Cup can also create thousands of new jobs and attract tourists from around the world.

However, hosting a major event like the World Cup can also have negative impacts, such as increased environmental pollution and financial pressure on host countries.

Expectations and concerns of the 2026 World Cup host countries

The host countries of the 2026 World Cup all have their own expectations and concerns when hosting the biggest tournament on the planet. Some common expectations of countries include:

  • Create a large sports playground for national teams and attract the attention of millions of fans around the world.
  • Enhance the image and position of the country in the international arena.
  • Create opportunities for economic and tourism development.

However, countries are also facing concerns such as:

  • Financial pressure and tournament organizing costs.
  • The possibility of protests or violence related to the tournament.
  • Negative impact on the environment and local communities.

Experts’ comments and predictions about the 2026 World Cup

Before the 2026 World Cup, experts have made comments and predictions about this tournament. Some general observations include:

  • The 2026 World Cup will be a competitive and unpredictable tournament with the participation of many strong teams.
  • South American, European and North American teams will be bright candidates for the championship.
  • The use of new technology can help referees make more accurate decisions and improve the quality of matches.
  • The 2026 World Cup will likely be the last tournament for many top stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.


The 2026 World Cup promises to be a dramatic and exciting tournament with the participation of many strong teams and the use of new technologies. However, organizing a major event like the World Cup also brings a lot of pressure and challenges for host countries. Let’s wait and follow the exciting developments of the 2026 World Cup.