World Cup going from compact to super-sized in 2026 | Football News

World Cup going from compact to super-sized in 2026 | Football News
World Cup going from compact to super-sized in 2026 | Football News
TORONTO: With probably the most compact World Cup ever reaching a climax on Sunday in Qatar, the baton can be handed to 2026 co-hosts the United States, Mexico and Canada for what can be a super-sized world soccer showcase with extra video games and journey – and rather more beer.
After controversially awarding 2022 host duties to Qatar, a rustic smaller than the state of Connecticut, soccer’s governing physique FIFA goes massive in 2026, growing the variety of groups from 32 to 48 with video games over three nations and as many time zones.
The final time Mexico (1986) and the United States (1994) hosted a World Cup there have been 24 groups.
With 16 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico staging matches, the logistics can be mind-boggling even earlier than including in 48 staff coaching bases.
The 2026 match will return to its conventional summer time window after being performed in November and December in Qatar to keep away from searing June and July temperatures. Most of the competitors can be within the United States, which is able to see 11 cities from New York to Los Angeles get 60 of the 80 matches, together with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and remaining.
Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey are the Mexico venues with Toronto and Vancouver getting Canadian internet hosting obligations.
While the Qatar World Cup was at occasions overshadowed by the Gulf state’s therapy of migrant labour and its strategy to LGBTQ rights and different restrictive social legal guidelines, FIFA chief Gianni Infantino heaped reward on the motion on the pitch, describing the group stage as the most effective ever.
‘SURPRISES FROM AFRICA AND ASIA’
That tried and examined format of eight teams of 4 groups, which has saved tons of of thousands and thousands of followers enthralled, could possibly be ripped up for 2026 as FIFA considers plans to have 16 teams of three groups within the first section.
More groups will imply extra surprises, like Saudi Arabia beating Argentina of their group opener, says Juergen Klinsmann, who gained a World Cup with Germany and later coached the U.S. males’s nationwide staff.
“We are going to see extra surprises coming from Africa and Asia within the (2026) match,” Klinsmann, the pinnacle of FIFA’s technical group, advised reporters in Qatar.
The 32-team World Cup in Qatar has a complete of 64 matches, accomplished in 29 days, and, for now, the 2026 finals can be 80 video games over 32 days.
With four-team teams, there could be 104 matches, requiring not less than an additional week.
More matches, nevertheless, would imply extra tv rights cash and, because the World Cup brings in some 90% of FIFA’s income, its leaders can be tempted.
The World Cup in Qatar has earned $7.5 billion in rights and sponsorship income, one billion greater than the 2018 finals in Russia, FIFA stated final month.
One sponsor virtually actually wanting ahead to 2026 is Budweiser, the official beer of the World Cup, who had the faucets at stadiums turned off by Qatari officers simply days earlier than the beginning. The first World Cup held in a conservative Muslim nation with strict controls on alcohol, it was a problem to search out beer or alcohol in Qatar and while you did it was costly. But in 2026 the faucets can be flowing at 20 stadiums together with fan zones full of thirsty supporters.

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