Canada, the US, and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup, and the clock is ticking down the days before the big event. With 16 host cities spread throughout the three nations, this World Cup will be the first to include 48 teams.

The two Canadian sites, located on opposite sides of the nation, are Vancouver and Toronto, respectively. June 12 will be the Reds’ first Group Stage match in Toronto, hosting five other Group Stage clashes.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles is one of eight U.S. cities that will host the start of the campaign on June 12. The others are Boston, Kansas City, Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Seattle, and San Francisco as well.

The United States of America hosted the 1994 World Cup, however, Mexico hosted the tournament twice (in 1970 and 1986). The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City will host the opening game on June 11.

Diego Maradona’s Argentina won their second World Cup in 1986 in front of an Azteca Stadium crowd. Monterrey and Guadalajara are the other two Mexican locations. Meanwhile, on July 19, the championship game will happen at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Disappointment for Mexico?

Unfortunately, a painful setback for Mexico has emerged, according to a report. Due to renovations being carried out to bring it up to FIFA standards, the report says that Azteca Stadium might not host the event.

365 Scores Mexico says FIFA gave Azteca Stadium a red card since their stadium is running behind schedule. The two other Mexican stadiums have already met FIFA’s requirements: the Estadio BBVA, where Monterrey plays, and the Estadio Akron, where Chivas plays.

“The Azteca Stadium did NOT pass the FIFA tests for the 2026 World Cup. The first report of the year arrived, and the Azteca is DELAYED by 6 months according to its planned remodeling,” 365Scores wrote on X.

In response to the claims, FIFA issued the following response: “FIFA continues to work closely with its Host Cities and stadiums to stage the biggest, most inclusive and successful FIFA World Cup in history in 2026. This close collaboration with all 16 venues includes regular site visits, workshops and meetings that started back in 2022 and will continue until the event kicks off on June 11, 2026.

“We continue to work closely with Azteca Stadium on their timely renovation plans ahead of hosting the Opening Match of the tournament.

“Specific details regarding fan access and additional information about matches will be announced in due course.”

On June 14, 20 and 26, Monterrey will play home to two group-stage matches. Then, on June 29, it will host one last-16 encounter. Guadalajara will also play home to four first-round matches on June 11, 18, 23 and 26. El Tri will compete in the match on Thursday, June 18.

Club America’s home stadium was the only one that failed the initial inspection conducted by the regulating authority. There is still time to make changes and enhancements.

Six months to fix issues for Estadio Azteca in World Cup preparation

In preparation for the next worldwide event, a group of specialists from the body international inspected the historic 86,000-seat arena to ensure it complied with regulations.

Yet, the 365Scores report allegedly paints a negative picture. Just over two years before the incident, Mexico would have been granted a six-month window to rectify the matter. The repairs outlined in the plans still need to be completed.

The last event included 64 games played near one another, but this year’s 104-game format spread over three nations is a radical departure. The Azteca serves as a tribute to the competition’s history while ushering in a daring new age. In 1970, Pele’s Brazil strutted their way to a triumph in this stadium.

Correction: We previously reported that FIFA issued a statement saying that the stadium didn’t pass the test and that it was delayed by six months due to remodeling. It was 365Scores that mentioned that on X. We apologize for the error.