June 21, 2018

Canadian soccer official calls 2026 World Cup bid vote a 'watershed moment'

14 June 2018, 10:36 | Kevin Scott

U.S., Canada and Mexico to Host World Cup in 2026

2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in a few hours

The joint North America bid won 67 per cent of Wednesday's vote at the FIFA Congress, defeating Morocco 134-65 with one country, Iran, voting for none of the above.

But with the tournament expanding from 32 to 48 teams in 2026, tripling the hosts would not cause as many ripples.

Canada will host men's World Cup matches for the first time, while Mexico gets its first taste of the event since 1986. National-team base camps could also be held at local sites such as Loyola Maryland and Navy.

But he also pointed to the certainty of the bid's 23 stadiums - already built, burnished and ready for action - including Toronto's BMO Field, Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium and Montreal's Olympic Stadium. With M&T Bank Stadium's $120 million renovation set to be completed by next fall, city officials will have two years to address issues both technical and otherwise.

"And in that spirit we wish all Russian hosts and all the teams competing here the very best of luck".

Herdman, meanwhile, says hosting the event will be a "game changer" for Canadian soccer.

The United States last hosted the men's World Cup in 1994. Whether FIFA also extends this courtesy to Mexico and Canada - the latter a relative nonentity in worldwide soccer that has qualified for just one World Cup in 1986 - remains to be seen. Canada's sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where they did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungry and the Soviet Union in the group stage. Mexico and Canada will get 10 games each.

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Toronto's mayor noted that Canada had little chance of hosting the worldwide soccer tournament on its own, but will now reap the benefits resulting from its participation in the joint bid. MLS commissioner Don Garber called it "a monumental step in our collective mission to further advance the game of soccer in North America" and added "there's no doubt that World Cup 2026 will elevate the sport of soccer to entirely new levels".

Social media exploded after several reports, including one in the New York Times, said Wednesday that MetLife Stadium is hosting the final.

The official bid book submitted to Federation Internationale de Football Association identifies potential 52 team base camp locations, none in Jacksonville, but notes that "many additional sites" may be added to that list. "I believe in what I can do for FIFA and for football".

"Not to comment really on the USA side, but maybe they felt that they wished to go further in some additional letters which they had received from their president", he added.

Bid leader Cordeiro said his team was "humbled" by the result and predicted the tournament would put football "on a new and sustainable path for generations to come".

Canada Soccer said the combined cost of the women's World Cup and the 2014 under-20 women's World Cup was $216 million, with $15 million coming from the feds.

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