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FIFA World Cup

2026 World Cup final venue to be announced by FIFA Sunday

On Sunday, 4 February, FIFA will announce the 48-team tournament schedule for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as well as the host city for the opening match and the Grand Final between the top two finishers in a tournament that will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

According to AFP, Dallas is the favourite to host the final, scheduled for 19 July. Several media reports have suggested that AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, is in perfect condition to host football’s most important match.

However, there is so much interest in hosting the big game is so high that other alternatives are being considered. These include MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.

Los Angeles is also in the running. It hosted the final of the 1994 World Cup, when Brazil beat Italy on penalties after a scoreless draw at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It was one of the best teams in history, with the likes of Bebeto, Romario, Mauro Silva and others, that won the title.

Both Dallas and Los Angeles can offer stadiums with roofs to protect against adverse weather conditions. However, the organisers in New York and New Jersey have emphasised their experience in staging major events and their connections to facilitate the expected volume of international transport to accommodate European fans.

Dallas argues that the roof of its stadium will protect fans from the expected heat during the tournament dates. Of course, the city lacks the glamour of Los Angeles or New York. What is clear is that if Dallas is chosen to host the final, it will be the first time the game has been played in a covered stadium.

Meanwhile, the renovated Azteca Stadium in Mexico City is expected to host the opening match and the previous Opening Ceremony. The Azteca hosted the 1970 and 1986 finals. It will be the first stadium to host matches in three different World Cups.

All of this will be announced in a television programme to be broadcast in North America from Miami. FIFA President Gianni Infantino will be the star attraction.

For the first time, the tournament will feature 48 teams instead of 32. This means that there will be an extra 24 matches, for a total of 104 games at the 16 venues already selected.

The 16 venues for the tournament are Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.

Credit: AFP

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