When Does the 2026 World Cup Start?

When Does the 2026 World Cup Start?

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is set to be one of the most exciting events in North American sports history. With 48 teams participating for the first time, the tournament is going to be bigger and better than ever before!

You may be wondering, when does the World Cup start? The World Cup tournament is scheduled to take place from June 11, 2026 – July 19, 2026.

When Does the 2026 World Cup Start

FIFA has a form where you can register to get information on World Cup tickets. I have my name in!

This will be the first time that the World Cup is hosted by three different nations, and the first North American World Cup since 1994.

The World Cup is undoubtedly one of the most eagerly awaited sports events in the world. Fans from around the world are eagerly waiting for the tournament to begin, and many are already making plans to travel to North America to watch their favorite teams compete. With the tournament set to begin in just a few short years, it’s never too early to start planning for the event.

Key Dates for FIFA World Cup

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to start on Thursday, June 11, 2026.

The 2026 World Cup will feature 80 matches, with 60 of them being played in the United States and 10 each in Canada and Mexico. The final match of the tournament is scheduled to be played on July 19, 2026, at a location to be determined.

As of November 20, 2023, FIFA has not yet released the schedule of matches for the 2026 World Cup. However, the tournament is expected to be held across 16 cities in the three countries. We’ve included all the 2026 World Cup cities and stadiums here.

Teams and Qualifications


Qualifying Rounds

The qualifying rounds for the 2026 World Cup started on September 7, 2023, with three matches of the CONMEBOL zone played that day. The qualification series will continue until September 2025. The qualification process is expected to be more inclusive, with 48 teams participating in the competition, up from 32 in the previous edition.

The qualifying rounds will be divided into regional zones, and each zone will have a set number of slots for the World Cup.

Participating Teams

The host countries, Canada, Mexico, and the United States, will automatically qualify for the 2026 tournament.

The remaining 45 teams will be determined through the qualifying rounds. Six teams from South America, six from Africa, nine from Europe, eight from Asia, and three from North America will qualify for the competition.

The participating teams will be determined through a rigorous qualifying process, which is expected to produce a highly competitive tournament.

The teams that qualify for the 2026 World Cup will be determined through a combination of factors, including their performance in the qualifying rounds and their overall ranking in the FIFA world rankings.

Continuing Coverage on SoccerNovo

The 2026 World Cup promises to be an exciting tournament filled with upsets, superstars, quality soccer, and more! Cities will be buzzing with local and international fans flocking the streets and bars.

I personally cannot wait to watch it!

Leading up to the tournament and during the games, we’ll continue the coverage on our site so stay tuned!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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