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New York, New Jersey to host 2026 FIFA World Cup final

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The 2026 World Cup final will be held at MetLife Stadium in New York/New Jersey, organisers FIFA announced on Sunday.

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The New York bid held off a strong challenge from Dallas to secure the July 19 game, the culmination of the expanded 48-team tournament being co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.

The competition will kickoff with the opening game at Mexico City’s iconic Azteca Stadium on June 11.

Atlanta and Dallas will host the semi-finals while the third-place game will be played in Miami.

The quarter-final games will take place in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami and Boston.

A total of 16 cities across the three countries will host games with the bulk of the matches being held in the USA.

The 1994 World Cup was also held in the United States and the final took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, near Los Angeles.

New York hosted games at that tournament at the old Giants Stadium, which was later demolished to make way for MetLife, which opened in 2010.

The decisions were announced on a live television broadcast in North America that featured FIFA president Gianni Infantino alongside comedian and actor Kevin Hart, rapper Drake and celebrity Kim Kardashian.

The 82,500-seat MetLife Stadium, across the Hudson River from New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is the home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets but has held a number of international football games, including the final of the 2016 Copa America tournament.

The New York bid had lobbied hard on the city’s experience at hosting major international events and it’s position as a global city with easy transportation connections for fans.

Dallas had hoped that AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, would benefit from having a roof to protect the game from the elements.

There is some compensation for Dallas with the venue being given nine total games — the most of any venue.

Los Angeles had also thrown a hat into the ring but the attempt struggled amid disagreements with FIFA about tournament upgrades needed to NFL venue SoFi Stadium.

The Azteca will become the first stadium to host World Cup tournament games in three separate editions after 1970 and 1986.

The venue hosted the finals of the 1970 and 1986 tournaments.

The World Cup will take place during celebrations of the 250th anniversary of American independence.

A round-of-16 game will be held on July 4, Independence Day, in Philadelphia, where the US Declaration of Independence was signed.

The United States will kick off group stage competition at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on June 12 and will also play in Seattle.

Toronto was selected to host the first game for the Canadian team. Vancouver is the other Canadian venue which will host the squad.

The expansion of the tournament to 48 teams from 32 means there will be an additional 24 matches, making up a total of 104 games across the 16 already chosen venues.

The tournament will take the format of 12 groups of four teams with the top two going through along with the eight best third-placed teams.

From there, the competition is a straight knock-out format with the finalists having to play eight games rather than the previous seven.

The 16 host cities for the tournament are: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Guadalajara, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, Monterrey, New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.

The New York bid held off a strong challenge from Dallas to secure the July 19 game, the culmination of the expanded 48-team tournament being co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico.

(AFP)

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