Friday 24 May 2024, 19:30

FIFA World Cup 26™ Host Cities gather in Toronto as game-changing tournament edges closer

  • Sixteen Host Cities and FIFA’s three North American offices meet for third time in six months

  • Workshops helping progress critical FIFA World Cup 26™ planning and collaboration efforts

  • Canada’s Minister of Sport and Physical Activity joins reception to discuss the potential impact of FWC26

Representatives from the 16 FIFA World Cup 26™ Host Cities across Canada, Mexico and United States joined colleagues from FIFA’s Toronto, Mexico City and Miami offices in Toronto this week for a series of planning workshops as preparations towards kick-off on 11 June 2026 continue at pace. More than 100 representatives from Host Cities and FIFA came together for the third time in six-months for three days of intensive working group discussions. Critical operational and fan experience topics such as Guest Operations, FIFA Fan Festivals™, FIFA Music, Volunteers, Legacy and Ceremonies were on the agenda. The FIFA World Cup 26 teams were also joined by The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Canada’s Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, who joined a FIFA World Cup 26™ reception at Toronto’s iconic CN Tower. The Minister spoke about the importance of sport and football to Canadians and the positive impact and lasting economic, social and cultural legacy a tournament of this scale will have. “It was great to welcome FIFA officials and representatives of all the host cities to Toronto for the Host City Workshop. We have an exciting opportunity in Canada to use our 13 World Cup matches and the six-week celebration of soccer to continue to propel this sport forward across our country long after the last ball of the tournament has been kicked. We can’t wait to welcome the world to Toronto and Vancouver in 2026!” said The Honourable Carla Qualtrough.

Leading the workshop and welcome reception was FIFA World Cup™ COO Heimo Schirgi joined by Chief Tournament Officer, FIFA World Cup 2026™ Canada Peter Montopoli, Chief Tournament Officer, FIFA World Cup 2026™ USA Manolo Zubiria, Chief Tournament Officer, FIFA World Cup 2026™ Mexico Jurgen Mainka, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer Amy Hopfinger and GB Jones, Chief of Safety & Security. “Thank you to Minister Qualtrough for attending and giving everyone an extra boost of motivation and focus as we approach the final two years on the road to 2026. Thanks also to the 16 host city teams who made their way to Toronto for some very worthwhile group sessions. Their continued dedication is what will ensure this tournament is game-changing in every way,” said Schirgi. Sharon Bollenbach, Executive Director, World Cup Hosting 2026, City of Toronto, also attended the workshops and reception and said: “We are proud of the team we have assembled here in Toronto and confident in our vision and our ability to deliver something amazing here in 2026. We were pleased to host everyone in our city this week and look forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of fans in 2026 and showcasing everything that makes Toronto a world-class city.” The FIFA World Cup 26 will be the most inclusive and diverse sporting event ever, with three host countries, 16 Host Cities, 48 teams and 104 matches uniting the entire world on a huge stage and engaging billions of fans worldwide. Fans wishing to keep up to date with the latest news and information regarding FIFA World Cup 2026™ tickets can register at

FIFA World Cup 2026™