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New Jersey to host 2026 World Cup final, Mexico gets opener

The 2026 World Cup final will be held in New Jersey at the home of the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets, world soccer’s governing body FIFA announced on Sunday, along with the entire schedule for the global soccer showcase.

The 48-team World Cup, which will conclude on July 19 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, is being co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, reports Reuters.

The open-air stadium for the final, which has a capacity of 82,500, hosted the Copa America Centenario final in 2016 when Chile denied Lionel Messi’s Argentina for a second time in a penalty shootout.

Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca will host the opening match of tournament on June 11 when Mexico will become the first nation to stage the World Cup for a third time.

Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, with the finals of both editions held at Estadio Azteca where Pele’s Brazil crushed Italy 4-1 and Diego Maradona’s Argentina beat West Germany 3-2.

The first match in Canada, which has never hosted a World Cup game, will be on June 12 in Toronto at the home of the city’s Major League Soccer team while the opening game in the United States will be in Los Angeles at the home of the NFL’s Rams.

The 2026 World Cup will feature 104 matches instead of the traditional 64 games, including an additional knockout round due to the previously announced decision to expand to 48 teams from 32.