how often is the world cup

How Often is the World Cup Played & When is Next FIFA World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup, a global celebration of football that brings nations together from all corners of the world, is an event that millions of fans eagerly anticipate. The question often arises, “How often is the World Cup played?”.

This article aims to answer that question and provide additional insights into the world’s most prestigious soccer tournament. Get ready to explore the excitement and anticipation surrounding the next FIFA World Cup!

How Often is the World Cup Played?

The World Cup, the pinnacle of football competition, is played every four years. This quadrennial schedule has been in place since the tournament’s inception in 1930, with the only exceptions being 1942 and 1946, when the event was not held due to World War II.

The four-year gap between each World Cup tournament is not arbitrary. It allows ample time for the qualification tournaments and playoffs to take place. With 211 member nations of FIFA, the qualification process is a massive undertaking.

For instance, in the 2018 World Cup, with Russia automatically qualifying as the host country, the remaining 210 nations competed for the remaining 31 places during 872 matches.

The World Cup’s four-year cycle also contributes to the tournament’s prestige. The anticipation builds over four years, making the event even more special and exciting. When people ask, “How often is the FIFA World Cup held?”, the answer underscores the importance of this global event. 

The World Cup is not just a football tournament; it’s a global event that brings together different cultures, nations, and people. It celebrates football, unity, and the human spirit every four years.

how often is the world cup played

How Often is the Fifa Women’s World Cup?

Like the men’s tournament, the FIFA Women’s World Cup also occurs every four years. The tournament was first held in 1991 in China and has since grown in popularity and prestige.

The most recent Women’s World Cup was held in France in 2019, and the next one is scheduled for 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

Why is World Cup Played Every Four Years?

The World Cup is held every four years due to FIFA regulations. The four-year interval provides enough time for the participating teams to prepare and for the host country to organize the event.

It also allows for the qualification process, which involves teams from all over the world competing in a series of matches to earn a spot in the tournament.

The four-year interval has a significant impact on the players and teams involved. For players, the World Cup is the pinnacle of their careers, and the four-year gap allows them to focus on their club careers while still having enough time to prepare for the tournament.

For teams, the four-year interval allows for developing new players and improving existing ones. It also allows teams to learn from their mistakes and adjust their strategies for the next tournament.

However, the four-year interval also has its drawbacks. Injuries can occur, and players may not be in the same form as during the previous tournament.

Teams may also experience changes in coaching staff and management, which can affect their performance.

Despite these challenges, the four-year interval for the World Cup is seen as a balance between providing enough time for preparation and qualification while maintaining the tournament’s excitement and anticipation.

When is the Next FIFA World Cup?

The next FIFA World Cup is coming to North America in 2026. The United States, Canada, and Mexico will host this prestigious competition in sixteen different cities. This marks the second time the U.S. will host the men’s competition, the first being the 1994 World Cup.

Canada will be hosting the men’s competition for the first time, and Mexico will be hosting the World Cup for a record third time after having done so in 1970 and 1986.

The joint bid by the three nations to host the 2026 World Cup was victorious over Morocco’s bid in a 2018 vote. FIFA released the list of host cities for the 2026 competition in June 2022.

The cities and stadiums that will host the matches in each country are as follows:

11 cities in the United States

  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has a capacity of 75,000-seat 
  • Gillette Stadium in Boston can hold up to 70,000 people.
  • AT&T Stadium in Dallas can hold 92,967 people.
  • NRG Stadium in Houston has room for 72,220 people.
  • Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City has room for 76,640 people.
  • SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles can hold up to 70,000 people.
  • Hard Rock Stadium in Miami can hold 67,518 people.
  • MetLife Stadium in New York and New Jersey has room for 87,157 people.
  • Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia has room for 69,328 people.
  • Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco/Bay Area can hold 70,909 people.
  • Lumen Field in Seattle holds up to 69,000 people.

3 places in Mexico

  • Estadio Akron in Guadalajara can hold 48,071 people.
  • Estadio Azteca in Mexico City has a capacity of 87,523.
  • The Estadio BBVA in Monterrey has a capacity of 53,460.

Two cities in Canada

  • BMO Field in Toronto can hold 45,500 people.
  • BC Place in Vancouver holds up to 54,500 people.

Also Read: When Did Messi Start Playing Soccer? – Explained by Soccer Coach

How Did the World Cup Start?

The first World Cup was held at the start of the 20th century. Jules Rimet, who was president of FIFA at the time, came up with the idea. He wanted an event that would bring people worldwide together through the language of football.

The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. At the time, Uruguay was celebrating 100 years of freedom and had just won the football tournament at the 1928 Olympics. The event was a success. Thirteen teams took part, and Uruguay was the first team to win.

Since 1950, the World Cup has been played every four years without a break. It is now the most important football event.

World Cup 2026 With 48 Teams

The World Cup has evolved in its format and the number of participating teams over the years. From the initial 13 teams in 1930, the tournament expanded to include 24 and 32 teams.

Another notable change will be for the US, Mexico, and Canada-hosted 2026 World Cup. The tournament will welcome 48 teams, marking a permanent expansion in the format.

The knockout stage will be changed so there are 16 groups of three teams each. The top two teams from each group will move on to a knockout pool with 32 teams.

Also Read: 23 Ways on How to Get Better at Soccer With Pro Tips – According to Soccer Coach

Will Fifa World Cup Every Two Years Happen?

FIFA has recently expressed interest in holding the World Cup every two years, citing potential additional revenue as a primary benefit.

FIFA released a study in December 2021 that said a new international schedule with a World Cup every two years could bring in an extra $4.4 billion every four years.

However, the proposal has faced significant backlash from fans, media, and continental confederations. Critics argue that it would strain an already packed football calendar and devalue the prestige of the World Cup.

High-profile stakeholders, including UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin, PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, have opposed a two-year World Cup cycle. As of now, the future of this proposal remains uncertain.

Also Read: What is a Cap in Soccer? – Explained by Soccer Coach

How Has the World Cup Frequency Changed Over Time?

The frequency of the World Cup has remained consistent since its inception, with the tournament taking place every four years. However, the format and the number of participating teams have evolved. The first World Cup in 1930 saw 13 teams compete, but this number has gradually increased over the decades.

The 1998 World Cup in France was the first to feature 32 teams. The 2026 World Cup will see a significant change, with the tournament expanding to include 48 teams. This change will result in more matches being played during each tournament.

There have also been discussions about holding the World Cup every two years instead of every four years. FIFA President Gianni Infantino came up with this idea. He thinks it would bring in more money for the organization and give more countries a chance to qualify for the event.

However, this proposal has been met with resistance from soccer fans and officials who believe the World Cup should remain a special event, i.e., held every four years.

Also Read: 12 Best Soccer Balls in 2023 -According to Soccer Expert!

Who Won the Last World Cup?

Argentina won the last Men’s World Cup, which was held in Qatar in 2022. They defeated France in the final on penalties, marking Argentina’s third World Cup title, with their previous victories coming in 1978 and 1986.

The tournament was notable for the outstanding performances of Argentina’s star player, Lionel Messi, who was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.

On the women’s side, the most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in 2019 in France, with the United States winning their fourth title.

The USWNT dominated the tournament, winning all of their matches en route to the final. In the final, they defeated the Netherlands 2-0, with goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle.

Summing Up on How Often is the World Cup

In conclusion, the FIFA World Cup, both men’s and women’s, is held every four years. This frequency allows for the necessary time for qualifying tournaments and playoffs among national teams to take place.

It also builds anticipation and excitement for the tournament, making it an exceptional event that brings people from all over the world together to celebrate the sport of soccer.

The next Men’s FIFA World Cup tournament is scheduled to occur in 2026, with the host countries being the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand. Despite discussions about changing the frequency of the World Cup, it remains a quadrennial event as of now.

Also Read: 4 4 2 Soccer Formation Explain: A Comprehensive Guide


Is the World Cup Every 2 Years or 4 Years? 

The FIFA World Cup is held every four years. This quadrennial tournament brings together the best soccer teams worldwide to compete for the prestigious title. The tradition of hosting the World Cup every four years started with the inaugural tournament in 1930 and has continued ever since.

When Was the First World Cup Held? 

The first World Cup was held in 1930. The tournament took place in Uruguay from July 13 to July 30. The host country, Uruguay, emerged as the champion, marking the beginning of this globally celebrated soccer event.

Where is the 2026 World Cup? 

The 2026 World Cup will be a one-of-a-kind event because it will be held in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This is the first time in the history of the World Cup that it will be held in three different countries simultaneously.

Why is the 2030 World Cup Special? 

The 2030 World Cup will be a landmark event, marking the centennial of the World Cup competitions. It will be the 100th anniversary of this prestigious tournament, making it a special occasion for soccer fans worldwide. The host for this centennial World Cup is yet to be decided.

About the author


Hi I"m Aryan a pro soccer player, coach, and visionary in the world of soccer. With an impressive journey that began at the tender age of five, I have dedicated my life to the beautiful game.

View all posts

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *