TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) – As probably the most compact World Cup in historical past culminates in Qatar on December 16, the baton can be handed to 2026 co-hosts the US, Mexico and Canada for a super-massive world. Develop into soccer. Introducing extra video games and journey, and extra beer.

After a controversial choice to host Qatar, a smaller nation than Connecticut, in 2022, soccer’s governing physique FIFA will go huge in 2026, with matches in three international locations and lots of time zones. to extend the variety of groups from 32 to 48.

The final time Mexico (1986) and the US (1994) hosted the World Cup, there have been 24 groups.

With matches in 16 cities throughout the US, Canada and Mexico, the logistics can be daunting even earlier than including coaching areas for 48 groups.

The 2026 event will return to the normal summer time window after being held in November and December in Qatar to keep away from the nice and cozy temperatures of June and July. Many of the competitors will happen in the US, with 11 cities from New York to Los Angeles taking part in 60 of his 80 matches, together with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

Mexico Metropolis, Guadalajara and Monterrey are venues in Mexico, whereas Toronto and Vancouver are accountable for internet hosting in Canada.

Whereas the Qatar World Cup was typically overshadowed by the Gulf’s remedy of migrant employees and its dedication to LGBTQ rights and different restrictive social legal guidelines, FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated on the pitch: ‘s efficiency and stated the group stage was the perfect ever. .

“Shock from Africa and Asia”

The tried and examined format of 8 teams of 4 groups, which has attracted a whole lot of tens of millions of followers, could possibly be dismantled in 2026 as FIFA considers plans to have 16 teams of three groups within the first section. I’ve.

Extra groups imply extra surprises, as Saudi Arabia beat Argentina of their group opener, stated J├╝rgen Klinsmann, a World Cup-winning World Cup winner with Germany and later coach of the US males’s workforce. stated it will.

“The (2026) event will deliver extra surprises from Africa and Asia,” FIFA’s technical group head Klinsmann instructed reporters in Qatar.

The 32-team World Cup in Qatar could have a complete of 64 matches over 29 days, and the 2026 ultimate could have 80 matches over 32 days.

A bunch of 4 groups could have 104 matches, requiring not less than an additional week.

However since extra video games means extra TV rights, and the World Cup brings in about 90% of FIFA’s income, its leaders can be tempted.

FIFA stated final month that the World Cup in Qatar would herald $7.5 billion in rights and sponsorship income, $1 billion greater than the 2018 ultimate in Russia.

One sponsor wanting ahead to 2026 is Budweiser, the official beer of the World Cup, whose stadium faucets had been shut off days earlier than the beginning by Qatari officers.

The primary World Cup was held in a conservative Muslim nation with strict alcohol controls. It was tough to seek out beer or alcohol in Qatar.

However in 2026, faucet will movement in 20 stadiums, with fan zones filled with thirsty supporters.

Reporting by Steve Keating of Toronto.Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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