British Columbia

World Cup for Canada? Soccer association believes in 2026 bid

The Women's World Cup was viewed as a success, so is the time right for Canada to host the men's tournament?

Canadian Soccer Association has high hopes for Canada after success of Women's World Cup

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair plays against England during the 2015 Women's World Cup hosted by Canada. The monetary success of that tournament along with other factors have the Canadian Soccer Association bullish on hosting the 2026 men's tournament. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Pitch perfect: that's what the Canadian Soccer Association feels about the timing for Canada's application to host the 2026 Men's World Cup.

The combination of Toronto not applying for the Olympics and the City of Vancouver releasing a report that suggested the Women's World Cup was a huge economic success gives association president Victor Montagliani confidence.

"I think what we've shown is that as a country, we're very good at hosting international events," Montagliani said. "I think the Women's World Cup, which was held coast to coast and shattered all kinds of records … showed that this is a country that can put on events of that kind of magnitude."

"From our perspective, we do have the facilities … so in terms of our ability and capability of putting it on, I think it's unquestioned, so the real question is the political will."

Montagliani said that Vancouver would only be part of what would need to be a multi-city effort that would use eight to 10 stadiums over the course of the 30-day event.

Corruption looms over bid

Much of the publicity surrounding FIFA has been negative of late, as the organization continues to deal with the fallout of a major corruption scandal.

Montagliani believes the controversy surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has made the voting process more transparent and will give Canada a fair shot at hosting the tournament.

"I think a lot of it's already been tightened up, and I think it'll be tightened up more," he said.

Currently, the only other countries to express a definite desire to bid on the 2026 World Cup are Mexico and Colombia. There have been reports that those nations may look to host the games with other nations as part of a joint bid — including a possible joint U.S.-Mexican effort.

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Could Canada host the World Cup is 2026? That's the goal


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