ZURICH (AP) — FIFA set a new target Tuesday of finalizing North American host cities for the 2026 World Cup — if the coronavirus pandemic allows.
The 23 candidate cities likely need to be cut to 16. FIFA said it could confirm them at the end of the the year.
The pre-pandemic schedule called for cities hosting the first 48-team World Cup — likely 10 in the United States and three each in Canada and Mexico — to be picked early this year. The new deadline will depend on FIFA officials being able to take inspection trips to 17 cities in the United States and three each in Canada and Mexico.
“The visits will only take place if the health and safety situation in the host countries allows FIFA to do so,” the governing body said in a statement.