FIFA have confirmed the timeline of the venue selection process for the 2026 World Cup, which is due to be hosted by the United States, along with neighbouring countries Canada and Mexico.
The famous tournament will undergo a revamp for this edition, expanding the number of competitors in the cup from 32 to 48, which will see the top two teams qualify from 16 groups of three.
And it'll be the United States who predominantly host this new and controversial format, while Canada and Mexico will entertain 10 matches each. FIFA announced on Wednesday afternoon that they are one step closer to revealing the venues of the competition, as they have now confirmed the timeline for the stadium selection process.
The governing body has provided information to the 23 host cities across the three nations regarding the timeline and deadlines that must be met in 2021, while factoring in the possibility of delays and setbacks due to coronavirus restrictions.
FIFA will organise one-on-one meetings between themselves, the host associations and the selected stadiums to discuss infrastructural aspects, which will take place from February 2021.
Then from April 2021, FIFA and the host associations 'will launch targeted virtual discussions with each candidate host city.'
The governing body is then aiming to begin venue visits to the hosting stadiums from July 2021, but once again, this is coronavirus-pending. These visits will only go ahead if the receiving country allows FIFA to do so in accordance with guidance from health authorities.
Should all of this go to plan, FIFA hopes to have appointed the host cities in the final quarter of 2021.