World Cup 2026: MetLife Stadium in New Jersey to host World Cup final on 19 July

The MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will host the 2026 World Cup final on 19 July, while the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City will stage the opening group game on 11 June.

Mexico is one of three countries co-hosting the expanded 48-team tournament along with USA and Canada.

They have hosted two World Cups on their own, in 1970 and 1986.

Canada’s first game will take place in Toronto on 12 June, with Dallas hosting a record nine matches.

The Azteca was the venue for Argentina striker Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 quarter-finals.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino announced the plans on Sunday and also revealed the third-place play-off match will take place in Miami.

The semi-finals of the tournament have been handed to Dallas and Atlanta.

The tournament will last 39 days, 10 more than the 2022 edition in Qatar.

The MetLife Stadium, home to American football teams the New York Giants and New York Jets, is based in New Jersey’s East Rutherford and can hold 82,500 fans. It was one of the host stadiums for the 1994 World Cup.

In total, 16 cities have been chosen including Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico and Vancouver in Canada.

Boston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco make up the US contingent.

Only one city, Guadalajara, will not host a knockout game.

Teams are likely to face are large amount of travel between games.

The shortest distance between a quarter-final and a semi-final venue is just over 500 miles from Kansas City to Dallas while the longest – between Los Angeles and Atlanta – is just under 2,200 miles.

Infantino said he is expecting a competition to remember, adding: “Soccer unites the world. Biggest spectacle the universe has ever seen here in North America.”

The new format will feature 12 four-team groups, a last-32 knockout round for the first time and a record 104 matches will be played.

The United States will play their opening match at the So-Fi Stadium in Los Angeles on 12 June, followed by a trip to Lumen Field in Seattle seven days later.

Source: BBC

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