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SBD Global/January 27, 2014/International Football

Canadian Soccer Association Announces Plan To Bid For 2026 FIFA World Cup

The Canadian Soccer Association released a strategic plan Thursday to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, according to Neil Davidson of the CANADIAN PRESS. Of a bid to stage "the grand-daddy of them all," CSA President Victor Montagliani said, "The process has to start now." Canada "is hosting the women’s World Cup next year." Getting that right "is key to being able to giving the men’s tournament a shot." CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, "has not hosted the men’s World Cup since the U.S." in '94. Montagliani: "We’re the only G-8 nation to not host the World Cup. We’ve hosted almost every other event. I think it’s time for Canada to step up to the plate." Montagliani said that "the World Cup bid is part of the new blueprint’s strategy to encourage growth in the game in Canada." Such a bid "goes hand in hand with reviving a national men’s team that currently ranks 111th in the world, sandwiched between Bahrain and Guatemala" (CANADIAN PRESS, 1/23). In Toronto, Kurtis Larson commented, "To reiterate what I wrote in October, when bid rumours began to trickle out, keep on dreamin'." To be clear, "any country can host a FIFA men’s World Cup." Qatar "was bizarrely selected to host the event in 2022 after South Africa brought the tournament to that continent four years ago." In other words, "if you have the cash, FIFA will listen." But that cash "is immense." According to the South African Public Service commission, the 2010 Cup cost that country roughly $3.5B. The dollar figures for Canada "might be similar, or at least in the ballpark." It is a number "that already spooked a Toronto committee to the point it nixed a bid for the 2024 Olympics this week." So, while admirable, it is "difficult to see the CSA's plan leaving the boardroom" (TORONTO SUN, 1/24).
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