The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) as part of the next stage of the venue selection process, the world governing football body has provided further information to the 23 candidate host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2026™ in Canada, Mexico and the United States regarding the timeline with deadlines set for 2021, subject to any restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following on from the information-exchange phase initiated last year, FIFA and the host associations will organise virtual one-on-one meetings with each stadium to discuss infrastructural aspects from the end of February 2021 onwards.
From April 2021, FIFA and the host associations will launch targeted virtual discussions with each candidate host city.
Bearing in mind the constantly changing circumstances with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA and the host associations are aiming to start the venue visits in the candidate host cities at the beginning of July 2021. In keeping with FIFA’s policy of following the recommendations of the health authorities in the context of the pandemic, the visits will only take place if the health and safety situation in the host countries allows FIFA to do so.
Provided the aforementioned venue visits are conducted, FIFA and the host associations aim to have the host cities appointed by the FIFA Council in the last quarter of 2021.
As per the focus areas for assessment shared during the candidate host city workshops last year, while stadiums remain the foundation for the successful hosting of a FIFA World Cup, FIFA considers that providing key infrastructure and services (both sporting and general) and realising the commercial potential of each venue, as well as in terms of sustainability, human rights and event legacy, is of the utmost importance.
In line with FIFA’s strategic objective of making football truly global, the FIFA World Cup 2026 will be the first-ever edition of the competition to feature 48 teams.