Canada set to co-host 2026 World Cup games

Published On June 14, 2018 | By mikefurtado | Sports

Flags in Mexico City are pictured during NAFTA talks involving Canada, Mexico and the United States. (REUTERS/Edgard Garrido).

Michael Furtado and Son Ha Tran

Soccer fans in Canada are rejoicing after FIFA announced Wednesday that Canada will be co-hosting the 2026 World Cup along with the U.S. and Mexico.

This will be the first time Canada is hosting the World Cup and only the second time in Canada’s history that the men’s national team will be participating in the event. Canada’s lone qualification came back in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted by Mexico.

President of the United States Football Association Carlos Cordeiro, Mexican Football Federation President Decio De Maria and President of the Canadian Soccer Association Steven Reed celebrate after the announcement that the 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada (REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin).

The three North American countries went head-to-head in a vote with Morocco, which was the only other country remaining with a bid for the event.

President of Canadian Soccer Association Steven Reed expressed how grateful the association is for this opportunity.

“I don’t think we ever thought that we would have such an overwhelming support,” he said. “We’re very humble in terms of our view of our campaign.”

Reed said it was all because of hard work.

“It shows the amount of work that we did over the past year and in particular over the past six days has come to fruition,” he said.

Reed also said it took contributions from all three of the countries to get the bid to host.

“When it came to what we tried to accomplish, all three governments in every level were working together in order to achieve that goal, and we have been successful,” he said. “I’m grateful for that support.”

Bill Manning, who is the President of Toronto Football Club and the Toronto Argonauts, talked about how the city will use BMO field – which has 45,000 seats – to host the games held in Toronto.

“[It was] confirmed that the Toronto government will work with Canadian Soccer and other organizations towards the investments and preparations for the 2026 event,” he said.

Edmonton and Montreal are the other two Canadian cities that are viable options to host games. However, nothing is confirmed at the moment.

Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying Toronto will try to host as many games as possible during the event.

He also spoke on Toronto’s prior experience in hosting the Pan Am and Invictus games as a good indicator of how the city will be able to facilitate FIFA’s needs.

Tory said Toronto is “a city with great infrastructure, talents, volunteers, and we know how to put these things on properly.”

The mayor said he is excited for how this opportunity will energize the city, and is excited to “showcase Toronto to people around the world.”

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