FIFA announces new international match calendar

Guillermo Ochoa, goalkeeper of Mexico, makes a save during the Group C match between Mexico and Poland of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Ras Abu Aboud (974) Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

The date for the 2026 FIFA World Cup final has been fixed as the FIFA Council approved new international match calendars on Tuesday.

According to the men’s international match calendar 2025-2030, a 16-day, four-match window will be introduced in late September/early October from 2026, as well as a nine-day, two-match window each in March, June and November. The 2026 FIFA World Cup final will be played on July 19, 2026.

The FIFA Council met in advance of the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, and adopted several key decisions, particularly in relation to the future of men’s and women’s competitions.

It unanimously approved the change in format for the 2026 FIFA World Cup from 16 groups of three to 12 groups of four, with the top two and eight best third-placed teams advancing to the round of 32.

The women’s international match calendar 2024-2025 will contain six international windows per year. The women’s football tournament of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games will be played from July 25 to August 10.

The FIFA Council also approved the establishment of a dedicated task force on player welfare and other decisions. ■

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