This FIFA date in September, more precisely on Thursday 7th, will see the start of the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which will take place in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
The first qualifying matches will be played in South America, where the reigning world champions, the Argentinian team with Lionel Messi in their ranks, will take on Ecuador at the Monumental Stadium and begin the long journey to defending the title on North American territory.
Although the tie in Concacaf starts next year, here we indicate how the classification of this part of the world will be played.
The tournament’s co-hosts, Canada, Mexico and the United States, will all receive automatic places, leaving three direct places open in CONCACAF and two more possible via play-offs.
The qualifying tournament begins in March 2024. The four lowest-ranked teams in the region will be split into two fixtures and play back-and-forth playoffs. The winners advance to the second round.
In the second round, a total of 30 teams from the region will compete against each other in six groups of five teams each. Each team plays once against the other teams in its group. Each country will play two home games and two away games. The first and second place in each group (12 teams in total) advance to the final stage.
Final qualifying round of the Concacaf for the 2026 World Cup
The 12 final stage teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each. Within each group, the teams play each other in home and away matches. The first of each group (3 teams) qualifies directly for the World Cup, joining hosts Canada, Mexico and the United States. The top two runners-up qualify for the FIFA Playoffs.