The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be the first edition of football’s showpiece to feature 48 teams.
A diplomatic delegation from each of the three 2026 World Cup hosts were in Qatar on Sunday for a handover ceremony prior to the France and Argentina final.
Delegates from the United States, Mexico, and Canada received the official diplomatic handover of the world’s biggest sporting event, scheduled to be held in North America in just three and a half years.
“We could not be more excited,” said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations who led a presidential delegation to the final, according to the Associated Press. “We are already hard at work preparing for 2026 and we’re looking forward to welcoming fans from around the world.”
16 cities—11 in the United States, three in Mexico, and two in Canada—will host the 2026 tournament. It will be the first edition of football’s showpiece to feature 48 teams.
FIFA announced the host cities in June.
Greenfield told fellow ambassador to the UN, Sheikha Alya Al Thani of Qatar, that the current host had “set the standards high”.
“The most important thing to remember is the World Cup transcends things and it plays an exceptional role in uniting people and countries and creating lasting friendships,” Sheikha Alya said.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was hosted in the Middle East region for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Qatar wrapped up its edition of the World Cup with a stunning match that has been described as the best tournament final of all time. After a 3-3 tie and a penalty shootout, Argentina defeated France 4-2 on penalties to claim the title in Qatar on Sunday night.
Messi dominated the World Cup for Argentina, reaching similar feats by Maradona in 1986. Argentina had previously won the World Cup twice: once in 1978 and 1986.