— Published 3 November 2021

FIFA continues its American tour

Mondial 2026

The veil will soon be lifted on the map of the sites of the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico. FIFA and the Confederation of North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) concluded earlier this week their second round of visits to the cities bidding to host matches of the world tournament, the first in history to bring together 48 teams in the final phase. The final stop on the long inspection and evaluation tour took the delegation from the two soccer bodies to Seattle, one of the favorite cities to be included in the U.S. bid. Earlier last month, the delegation visited Kansas City, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Monterrey, Mexico and San Francisco. Last September, the delegation visited Boston, Nashville, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Miami, New York and New Jersey. According to Colin Smith, FIFA’s head of tournaments and events, all site visits should be completed by the end of November at the latest, with final stops planned in Mexico City and Guadalajara in Mexico, Los Angeles in the United States, Edmonton and Toronto in Canada. But the decision will not be made until early next spring. The number of cities selected has not yet been formally determined, but it could be around 16. One question remains, and it will probably be decisive: the nature of the terrain. The FIFA and CONCACAF delegation visited a large number of stadiums owned by NFL teams where the pitch is artificial turf. But FIFA requires natural grass for World Cup games. The ability of the viles to solve this equation could play a key role in the international body’s final decision.