FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned Canada, Mexico and the United States on Thursday to prepare for a football “invasion” as the host city of the 2026 World Cup was revealed.

In the first World Cup co-sponsored by the three countries, a record number of teams will participate and the tournament will return to North America for the first time since the 1994 final, increasing 16 people from 32 to 48 teams.

The 16 venues named on Thursday include 11 in the United States, 3 in Mexico and 2 in Canada.

All US games will be held at the home of the NFL team, including the $ 5 billion SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and the 82,000-seater MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford’s New York Giants to host the finals.

A total of 60 of the 80 tournament games (including all knockout games since the quarterfinals) will be held at US venues.

The iconic Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, the venue for the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals, was included in three Mexican venues along with the cities of Monterey and Guadalajara.

Vancouver and Toronto will stage Canadian games in tournaments.

Meanwhile, Infantino said the 2026 will outperform the 1994 final in the United States in every way.

“2026 will be much bigger,” said Infantino. “I don’t think this part of the world understands what will happen in 2026.

“These three countries will be turned over and then again. The world will invade Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

“They will be invaded by a great wave of joy and happiness.”

Infantino said he hopes the World Cup will further accelerate the development of football in the region.

“In this part of the world, you are a world leader in many areas, but not yet in the best sports in the world, such as football and football,” he said. “The purpose is that you are the world leader in the best sport in the world.”

The venue for marquee games such as the World Cup finals and opening games has not yet been decided.

“We still need to discuss it, we still need to analyze it,” Infantino said. “We will make a decision soon.”

However, Given that tournament staging is geographically widespread throughout North America, FIFA is considering a regional “cluster” base team to minimize travel. I made it clear that I was there.

“When dealing with a large area like North America, you need to care about your fans and make sure your team is playing in a cluster. You don’t have to travel crazy distances for your fans or teams. “Infantino said.

-Super Bowl pedigree-

The list of venues in the United States extends from coast to coast and features several cities that hosted the game in the 1994 World Cup finals. However, the actual stadium venue for the 1994 tournament will not repeat in 2026.

Other venues include the Dallas Cowboys’ huge AT & T Stadium in Arlington and the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium. Seven of the 11 venues named Thursday hosted the Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium (the world’s loudest stadium according to the Guinness Book of Records) has also been cut.

NFL venues in Seattle, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, and Philadelphia were also included in the list.

However, there was no Washington DC location on the venue list. This means that the 2026 tournament will be the first World Cup since the 1974 final in West Germany at the time, which did not cover the host country’s capital.

Collin Smith, FIFA Chief Competition and Event Officer, admitted that Washington was absent after the “incredibly competitive” bidding process.

“This was a very difficult choice,” Smith said. “It’s hard to imagine the World Cup coming to the United States and the capital not playing a major role.”

Smith said some NFL venues would require minor changes to widen the “pinch point,” but the stadium’s capacity wouldn’t be affected.

“The number of fans who can experience this World Cup will probably be double that of before,” he said.

“The 1994 World Cup holds a record of attendance-and it will be blown out of the water.”

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