Monday 05 February 2024, 00:45

Gianni Infantino says “epic” FIFA World Cup 26™ final in New York New Jersey will unite the world

  • FIFA President says the match will be the biggest game in the history of football

  • The Estadio Azteca, venue for the opening match, is a "temple of football"

  • Fans who attend matches in Canada will have fun and joy

New York New Jersey will stage an epic FIFA World Cup 26™ final that will unite the world, Gianni Infantino said after FIFA revealed the match schedule for the 48-team tournament to be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The final will take place in New York New Jersey on Sunday, 19 July 2026, with the opening match, featuring the Mexican national team, scheduled to be played at the iconic Estadio Azteca Mexico City on Thursday, 11 June 2026.

"I’m sure that New York, New Jersey are celebrating now, and they should celebrate because they obtained the biggest game in the history of football," the FIFA President said. "This final in 2026, on 19 July 2026, will be epic. It will be fabulous. It will be the final of the first ever FIFA World Cup with 48 teams, 48 countries. We’ll have millions of people coming to the United States for the whole World Cup, to Mexico and to Canada, as well. And, of course, being in New York, which is such a cosmopolitan city, where you have between New York and New Jersey over 200 nationalities already there, celebrating and uniting the world, (it) is really something unique."

Turning to Mexico, which he said would be an "exceptional" host, he remembered that the Estadio Azteca Mexico City has already hosted the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986, witnessing the genius of Pelé and Diego Maradona at their best. "The Azteca Stadium – it isn’t a stadium, it’s a temple for football, for Mexican football, for North American football and for global football. Players like Pelé, [Diego] Maradona won World Cups there… some of the most memorable matches in the history of football. "That’s why we’re happy to kick off this World Cup on 11 June in the Azteca Stadium, and then have other matches in Monterrey (and) Guadalajara because Mexico is football, and the people who are going to come to Mexico for this World Cup will have a fantastic time."

Like Mexico, the national teams of Canada and the United States will each play their three group-stage matches on home soil. Canada will kick off their campaign in Toronto on Friday, 12 June 2026, while the United States will begin their journey on the same day in Los Angeles. The FIFA President spoke of Canada's experience in hosting FIFA events and emphasised that the two host cities, Vancouver and Toronto, were both football cities. "I’m very proud and happy that Canada is part of this incredible World Cup," he said. “Both cities are beautiful by nature and very, very cosmopolitan, as well, so I’m sure that every fan who will attend games in Canada, be it in Vancouver or in Toronto, will have a lot of fun, a lot of joy."