How New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium won a bitter battle to host the 2026 World Cup final

World Cup 2026 schedule, fixture dates and stadium venues

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The schedule for the men’s 2026 World Cup has been announced, as Fifa unveiled a giant tournament both in geography and the sheer volume of football.

The tournament will be played across Mexico, Canada and the USA in an expanded format with 48 teams included for the first time. They will be split across 12 groups of four, with the top two progressing automatically to the knockout stages and the eight best third-placed teams also going through to the round of 32.

The World Cup will begin in Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium, the site of Diego Maradona’s most famous and infamous goals against England at the 1986 World Cup. It was also the venue for two classic World Cup finals: Brazil’s win over Italy in 1970 which included Carlos Alberto’s iconic team goal to cap a 4-1 win; and Argentina’s 3-1 extra-time win over Netherlands in 1986, where Mario Kempes scored twice.

Mexico and Canada will host 13 games in each, and the United States will host 78. From the quarter-finals onwards, the US will host all of the remaining matches, with the final in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

What are the World Cup 2026 dates?

The tournament begins in Mexico on 11 June, and concludes with the final in New Jersey on 19 July.

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