UNITED 2026. A World Cup of strategic partners
The 23rd FIFA World Cup takes place from June 8th to July 12th, 2026. It will be hosted by 3 member countries of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF): Mexico, the United States of America, and Canada -. The trilateral hosting partnership was determined at the 68th Football Congress in Moscow on the eve of the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, as the vote for who would host the 2026 Cup resulted in overwhelming support, withcame as the result of 134 votes in support of the three countries hosting.Thus, becoming the first time that three countries simultaneously have been awarded being the host of the FIFA World Cup.
Despite there being criticisms about the eligibility of the trilateral alliance as hosts because two of the nations included do "[n]ot consider football as one of their main sports", FIFA's explanation is simple: the mega-event will become a giga-event, changing from 32 to 48 teams. This means more cities will be needed to host the larger number of matches, whilst eliminating the necessity of new infrastructure.
Although no such investment has been made, at least not in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, a redevelopment project will have to be created, which has been rescheduled for 2024. Remember that FIFA is now using advanced technology, which is reflected both in the smart stadiums and in the footballs. The latest soccer ball, the Al-Rihla, has a sensor connected to the Video Assisted Referee that measures its speed, how many times it has made contact with the human foot, how many times it has passed through the goal, and marks offside. It is also the first World Cup ball to be made exclusively with water-based inks and glues, making it environmentally sustainable. This would allow the next World Cup in 2026 to be a more sustainable one as well; but above all, would require the three North American countries to invest in network infrastructure, connectivity, audio-visual systems, and effective emergency protocols.
FIFA announced that the decision was based on a review that included various considerations, such as: the integrity of the competition, player welfare, transportation of the teams, and sporting attractiveness.It is estimated the local financial impact will be much greater than initially anticipated, and will be a unique business opportunity, where most of the proceeds will be destined to expand women's football. FIFA Women’s World Cup is playing this summer, 2023.