(Facebook/Canada Soccer)

Ottawa pledges $5 million for North American World Cup soccer bid

Friday deadline for joint Mexico-Canada-US bid to host soccer in 2026

The federal government officially threw its support behind the North American bid for the 2026 World Cup on Tuesday, with the promise of up to $5 million in immediate help should the unified bid win.

Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are up against Morocco to host the men’s soccer showcase. Their bid books go to FIFA at the end of the week with a decision to be made June 13 at the FIFA congress.

Tuesday’s announcement at BMO Field was the latest in a string of news events designed to show the bid is on track. Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton, identified as potential Canadian candidate cities, have already endorsed the bid.

The feds joined them Tuesday.

“It’s good for our athletes, it’s good for our communities, our economy, our reputation as an international sport leader,” said Kirsty Duncan, minister of science and minister of sport and persons with disabilities. “We are behind this bid.”

She said Ottawa will commit up to $5 million going forward should the bid win. Peter Montopoli, general secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association, said that money would be used during the transition period from when the bid is awarded to when FIFA essentially takes over running the tournament.

The federal government will also help with essential services such as security and border control as it did during the Women’s World Cup in 2015.

The unified bid plan calls for 10 matches in each of Canada and Mexico with 60 of the 80 games in the new expanded 48-team tournament format to be held in the U.S.

Montopoli noted that Canada has hosted every FIFA world championship save the men’s World Cup. Should the unified bid win, Canada would be the only country to have hosted them all.

“So in saying that, it is our time,” he added.

The new competition format will feature 16 groups of three with the top two from each pool advancing to a 32-team knockout. The tournament time period will remain at 32 days.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Princeton rock hound makes history with fossil find

Paleontologist Dr. Bruce Archibald says Princeton is becoming famous for giving up rare fossils

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Early morning crash near Cawston takes out power line

Power was off for several hours in the Cawston area after a motor vehicle accident

Okanagan Death Café Series set for April

Last spring nearly a hundred people decided that they wanted to converse about death and dying

Fine issued in accident involving senior’s death

Princeton man riding scooter died of complications

Princeton skaters create ‘magic’ on ice

Between donations at the door, a raffle, and a 50-50 draw about $4,000 was collected.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Rupert the therapy bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

Update: Vehicle flips several times after hitting semi

Police say Chevrolet Cobalt struck side of transport truck, driver’s injuries not life-threatening

BCHL Today: Wenatchee goes Wild against Vernon Vipers

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

B.C’s Indigenous tourism takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to imbue the industry with authenticity

B.C. landlords collect too much personal information, watchdog says

Report suggests low vacancy rates lead landlords to believe they can collect whatever info they want

Quebec daycare subsidies offer warning for B.C., study says

Over-55 women more likely to join paid workforce than young mothers

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Most Read