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FIFA World Cup 2026 final in New York, historic opening match in Mexico City

Published : 05 Feb 2024 10:37 PM
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FIFA has revealed the match schedule for the FIFA World Cup 2026, with the final to be held in New York, New Jersey on Sunday, 19 July 2026 when the opening match featuring the Mexican national team scheduled to be played at the iconic Estadio Azteca Mexico City on Thursday, 11 June 2026.

On the first matchday of the tournament to feature two matches, including the tournament curtain-raiser in Mexico City and a match in Guadalajara.

Meanwhile, Toronto (Canada), Mexico City (Mexico), and Los Angeles (USA) to host respective national teams’ FIFA World Cup opening matches.

According to a FIFA press release, innovative match schedule designed to minimise travel for teams and fans alike, ensuring that players’ rest and recovery is 

prioritised throughout the tournament.

Like Mexico, the national teams of Canada and the United States will each play their three group-stage matches on home soil. Canada will kick off their campaign in Toronto on Friday, 12 June 2026, while the United States will begin their journey on the same day in Los Angeles.

The schedule for the tournament was revealed on Sunday. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “The most inclusive and impactful FIFA World Cup ever is no longer a dream but a reality that will take shape in the form of 104 matches in 16 state-of-the-art stadiums across Canada, Mexico and the USA. From the opening match at the iconic Estadio Azteca to the spectacular final in New York New Jersey players and fans have been at the core of our extensive planning for this game-changing tournament.”

“I would like to thank our three host countries and 16 Host Cities for the unwavering commitment to staging a FIFA World Cup that will not only set new records but also leave an indelible legacy,” Infantino added.

FIFA Vice-President and Concacaf President Victor Montagliani said, “The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be a watershed moment and one that will trigger massive football development in our region and worldwide. While each Host City is unique, they all have something in common – they are passionate about football and cannot wait to welcome the world in June and July 2026.”

Having been drawn up in consultation with key stakeholders, including national-team coaches and technical directors, the schedule will also increase the prospect of matches being played in the best possible conditions and ensure that fans have shorter travel times when following their teams.

Match pairings and kick-off times will be confirmed following the Final Draw for FIFA World Cup 2026, which is expected to take place towards the end of 2025.

However, Canada, Mexico, and the United States guaranteed to play their three group-stage matches on home soil, with Guadalajara, Vancouver, and Seattle also selected to stage host countries’ group-stage matches.

Miami to host the bronze final, Dallas and Atlanta to stage the highly anticipated semi-finals, while Dallas will host nine (9) matches – the most of any Host City at the tournament.

The match schedule ensures that three days of rest for teams is observed for 103 of the tournament’s 104 matches. Majority of matches to be played in three regionalised zones (east, central and west) to reduce travel for teams and fans.