Buenos Aires –
CONMEBOL announced on Wednesday that world champions Argentina will host Ecuador on Thursday, September 7, the first day of South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
La Albiceleste, who earned their third world star seven months ago in Qatar, will play at River Plate’s monumental stadium, the largest in South America with 84,500 seats.
CONMEBOL’s qualification for the World Cup, to be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, will officially begin with a duel between Paraguay, which seeks to qualify after missing the last three World Cups, and Ricardo Gareca’s successor, Juan Peru, led by Reynoso, that same Thursday at the Antonio Aranda Stadium in Ciudad del Este.
In the second round, Colombia will take on Venezuela, the only South American team without World Cup experience, at the Metropolitano Stadium in Barranquilla.
Brazil, led by interim coach Fernando Diniz, will play against Bolivia a day later at the Manguerao de Belem Stadium. And Marcelo Bielsa will make his Uruguayan debut on the bench in an official match against Chile at the Montevideo Centennial.
Ten South American teams will compete for six straight spots as well as a play-off with an opponent from another confederation.
The second date of the South American qualifying round will be played in full on Tuesday, 12 September.
Argentina will visit Bolivia at the Hernando Siles Stadium in La Paz, 3,600 meters above sea level.
Brazil will travel to Lima to play Peru at the National Stadium and Uruguay will take on Ecuador at the Rodrigo Paz Delgado Stadium in Quito.
In Santiago, Chile will take on Colombia in the Monumental and Venezuela will face Paraguay in Maturin.