— Published 27 January 2021

Host cities known at the end of the year

With more than five years to go, FIFA unveiled on Tuesday (January 26th) the next steps in the preparation schedule for the Men’s World Cup in 2026, scheduled for the United States, Mexico and Canada. For the year 2021, the priority will be the choice of host cities for the global tournament. A first list of 23 candidate cities was drawn up last year. It will be refined by the last quarter of the year. As a first step, FIFA will organise a series of virtual meetings in February with the project leaders in each of the competing cities. Then, from April, the international football body will launch targeted discussions with the cities concerned. In July, if the sanitary situation permits, an evaluation commission will visit the cities in the race for an inspection. “FIFA and the host associations want the host cities to be appointed by the FIFA Council in the last quarter of 2021”, the body said in a statement. The 2026 World Cup should be played in 16 cities, to be chosen from the three organising countries. FIFA will therefore have to rule out seven of the 23 candidates.