The 2022 World Cup is over, marking the end of the era of 32 teams, now 2026 begins to take center stage with World Cup qualifying starting in 2023 looking ahead to 2026 in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It will mark the first time a World Cup will be hosted by three different nations.
It will be Mexico’s third time hosting, the United States’ second, and Canada’s first. The tournament will return to the summer months, tentatively scheduled for June 8th - July 3rd, 2026. A total of 16 host cities will welcome 48 national teams from all over the world. The 2026 World Cup will kick off the much criticized and debated 48 team tournament.
Víctor Montagliani was stopped by journalists during the 2022 World Cup and mentioned that FIFA was analyzing making a change during the first day of the tournament, here is what the Concacaf President had to say about a possible change at the FIFA World Cup in 2026.
Víctor Montagliani on 2026 World Cup
Víctor Montagliani stated that FIFA may break from the tradition of just one match on the opening day of the tournament, "We are going to make this decision next year, but what is certain is that we will have three opening games, one in the United States, one in Canada and one in Mexico,".
So, it would seem that all three host nations will play their World Cup openers on the same day that the tournament kicks off. Usually, FIFA has an opening day of just one game, usually by the host, and at one time the current defending champions, in 1994 it was Germany (90 champions) kicking off against Bolivia. In the past World Cup, it was host Qatar against Ecuador.