Cathal Kelly, columnist, says Edmonton hosting World Cup is a 'mistake'

A Toronto sports columnist has rankled some Edmonton fans after publishing a rant slamming the Alberta city for hosting the Women's World Cup.

'The real victim here is Toronto,' says sports columnist after city not chosen to host soccer tournament

The FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 will kick off in Edmonton on Saturday. At least one sports columnist wonders if the city was a good choice for the soccer extravaganza. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

A Toronto sports columnist has rankled some Edmonton fans after publishing a rant slamming the Alberta city for hosting the Women's World Cup.

Globe and Mail columnist Cathal Kelly, in Edmonton for the FIFA Women's World Cup, is taking heat for his column, which slams Edmonton's choice over Toronto to host the soccer event. (Twitter)
Globe and Mail columnist Cathal Kelly published his diatribe, titled "Kicking off the World Cup anywhere but Toronto is a mistake" on Thursday.

He calls Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium "actively ugly," comparing it to a high school field complete with "bush league" track.

He also disparages the city's apparent enthusiasm for hosting the soccer event, noting that tickets have not yet sold out.

His message is clear: The World Cup should be in Toronto.

"The world is going to tune in on Saturday expecting Toronto because that's the city that matters. It may hurt to hear it, but it doesn't make it less true," he wrote.

"Edmonton, God love you. In some ways you are the romantic home of soccer in Canada. But when the whole country has to stand up in front of the rest of the world, you can't be the first one talking. We just need you to stand there quietly, looking supportive."

It's clear Kelly knew his comments would trigger a social media firestorm:

Edmonton's mayor himself took to Twitter on Thursday night to respond:

Iveson was not the only Edmontonian annoyed with Cathal's apparent dismissal of the western capital city.

Kelly, who is clearly keeping an eye on the public's response to his column, continued to tweet Thursday night from Edmonton, joking that he should put on a disguise and lie about where he's from.

Meanwhile others, including radio personality Dan Tencer, are simply counselling Edmontonians to ignore Cathal.


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