FIFA set a new goal on Tuesday of finalizing all 16 host cities for the 2026 North American World Cup by the end of the year, as long as inspectors can visit every city in time amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There are currently 23 candidate cities vying for a spot to host games in the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026 — 17 of which are in the United States, and three each in both Canada and Mexico.
The current plan is to hold 60 of the 80 World Cup games in the United States, and then another 10 in each Canada and Mexico. MetLife Stadium in New Jersey — the home of the New York Giants and Jets — is expected to host the final match, according to The Associated Press.
Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City are the three Mexican cities hoping to hold games, and Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton are the three Canadian cities.
The United States cities still in consideration are:
New York/New Jersey
Before FIFA announces its final list of cities for the games, officials will have to take inspection trips to every city on the list — something that could prove difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The United States has had more than 25.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, and is averaging more than 170,000 new cases and more than 3,000 deaths a day, according to The New York Times. Canada has had more than 750,000 confirmed cases, though only recorded more than 5,400 new cases in the last week. Mexico has had more than 1.77 million, 17,400 of which occurred last week.
“The visits will only take place if the health and safety situation in the host countries allow FIFA to do so,” the organization said in a statement, via The Associated Press.
“Realizing the commercial potential of each venue, as well as in terms of sustainability, human rights and event legacy, is of the utmost importance.”
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