FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday that the teams competing at the 2026 World Cup, co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, will be grouped by region in the first leg of the tournament to avoid long journeys.
At an event in Los Angeles in which the tournament’s official logo was revealed, Infantino said the measure taken on the assembly of the group stage was due to the unprecedented magnitude that the next World Cup would take.
This will be the first World Cup in which 48 teams from 32 teams will participate in Qatar-2022 and the joint venue of the three countries will also be unprecedented.
“The challenge is all the logistics,” including holding the event in the three host countries, Infantino said.
“It’s a continent: three countries and not three small countries, three big countries.” “Distance, time, climate differences too: altitude in Mexico, sea level in other parts,” the FIFA boss said.
In this context, it is important for FIFA to create an adequate environment so that teams and fans have the best possible conditions, assured Infantino.
An apt reference means “not to travel too much, especially in the beginning”.
Infantino said the 32 coaches involved in the World Cup in Qatar had discussed the travel and organization of bases and the dynamics of the teams at the World Cup at a meeting in Doha last week.
In 2026 “there will be some travel involved, but we will coordinate it and make sure it is the best conditions for the team,” Infantino said.
Asked what he wanted as the legacy of 2026, Infantino told AFP: “Let football be the number one sport in North America.”