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Sports World Cup 2026: Edmonton likely to host matches as North America wins bid

14:10  14 june  2018
14:10  14 june  2018 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

NewsAlert: Canada to co-host 2026 World Cup

  NewsAlert: Canada to co-host 2026 World Cup NewsAlert: Canada to co-host 2026 World CupFIFA's member associations have voted in favour of the joint North American bid by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico over that of Morocco. The vote took place Wednesday at the FIFA Congress in Moscow.

The world ’s biggest sporting event could be on its way to Edmonton . On Wednesday morning in Moscow, Russia, the 68th FIFA Congress awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the United North American bid , submitted by Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The North American bid included 23 cities as potential host cities for matches , including Atlanta. Of those 23 cities, 16 will ultimately be selected to host World Cup matches . READ MORE: US, Canada, Mexico chosen to host 2026 World Cup .

Russia Soccer WCup FIFA Congress© Alexander Zemlianichenko Russia Soccer WCup FIFA Congress

The biggest sporting event in the world could be on its way to Edmonton.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup was awarded to the United North American bid submitted by Canada, the United States and Mexico on Wednesday morning at the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow.

Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal are the three Canadian cities provisionally designated to host games at the 2026 tournament, which is expanding to 48 teams from the current 32-team format.

“I’m really excited at the prospect of entertaining the 2026 World Cup in our country,” Canada Soccer president Steven Reed said on a conference call from Russia. “We have three wonderful cities that have had great success in hosting international sporting events. I think all of those cities are excited to be part of this process.”

Dave Feschuk: World Cup a soccer gift that could keep giving for Canada

  Dave Feschuk: World Cup a soccer gift that could keep giving for Canada The soccer-loving romantics were hugging and fist-bumping early Wednesday morning in the moments after North America’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup won the day with FIFA’s blue blazers. “I couldn’t sleep last night. I was so excited about what could happen,” said Bill Manning, president of Toronto FC, speaking to reporters at BMO Field.“It’s officially football Christmas for Canada,” said John Herdman, head coach of the national men’s team. “It’s one of those mornings, you wonder if Santa’s going to come. And he absolutely did this morning.

Calgary and Edmonton were among seven Canadian cities shortlisted to possibly host World Cup games if the joint North American bid is successful. READ MORE: Canada, U.S. and Mexico launch joint bid to host 2026 World Cup .

Canada, the United States and Mexico will jointly host the 2026 World Cup , FIFA member federations decided in a vote in Russia on Wednesday. BMO Field could be the site of 3 or 4 games now that North American bid beat out one from Morocco.

Edmonton’s Alphonso Davies, 17, spoke in the United Bid’s final presentation to the Congress before 200 FIFA delegates were asked to vote. The North American bid received 134 votes, defeating a bid from Morocco, which obtained 65 votes. One delegate refused to vote for either bid.

The successful North American bid brings the men’s World Cup to Canada for the first time. The majority of the 80 matches will be played in the United States, which hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Mexico played host to the 1970 World Cup and 1986 World Cup. Canada and Mexico are each expected to host 10 games.

Of the 23 cities included in the original North American bid, 16 will be chosen and utilized for the 2026 tournament. Each candidate city will likely have to make financial assurances to FIFA before being granted official host status.

From the dinner table to FIFA council, how Canada's World Cup bid evolved

  From the dinner table to FIFA council, how Canada's World Cup bid evolved It started in November 2010 with a meal at Vancouver's Il Giardino restaurant. Victor Montagliani, then vice-president of the Canadian Soccer Association, and Peter Montopoli, the association's general secretary, were sharing a meal with mentor Walter Sieber. Victor Montagliani, then vice-president of the Canadian Soccer Association, and Peter Montopoli, the association's general secretary, were sharing a meal with mentor Walter Sieber — director-general of sports at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and a man plugged into the world governing body of soccer.

Toronto mayor John Tory discusses the successful joint North American bid by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup at a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov.

Nine cities are no longer in contention to host matches should North America 's bid win the right to put on the 2026 FIFA World Cup .

The Edmonton commitment ranges from $30 million to $50 million. According to Mayor Don Iveson, the city would reach out to the provincial government for financial support. A decision on funding is expected in 2020.

“Obviously, sooner is better because we’d like to have some momentum around this bid,” Iveson said. “We’d like to have a sense of certainty that we’re going to be included in the final 16 cities.”

Individual municipalities will be responsible for stadium upgrades and other costs. The North American bid guaranteed all games would be played on natural grass, which means the artificial turf at Commonwealth Stadium would have to be replaced for the tournament.

And, despite being included as a destination city in original bid, Edmonton is not guaranteed to be a final host.

“It would be a huge lost opportunity, given the facility that we have, given the opportunity that we have to put Edmonton on the world stage again,” Iveson said. “We’ve shown that Edmontonians are huge fans of the beautiful game and want to be able to see it played at the highest level in our city.”

Whitecaps teen phenom Alphonso Davies named MLS player of the week

  Whitecaps teen phenom Alphonso Davies named MLS player of the week Super teen Alphonso Davies has been named Major League Soccer’s player of the week after a one-goal and three-assist effort in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 5-2 victory over Orlando City SC at B.C. Place on Saturday. The 17-year-old Edmonton product is enjoying a breakout year in his third MLS season, with two goals and seven assists (third best […]Super teen Alphonso Davies has been named Major League Soccer’s player of the week after a one-goal and three-assist effort in the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 5-2 victory over Orlando City SC at B.C. Place on Saturday.

MOSCOW (AP) — North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted Wednesday for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.

North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.

Canada has been the site of numerous FIFA events in the past, including the men’s Under-16 World Championship in 1987, the 2002 under-19 women’s World Championship, the 2007 men’s Under-20 World Cup, the 2014 Under-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Edmonton hosted 11 matches of the Women’s World Cup in 2015, which included the opening game of the tournament between Canada and China, a semifinal, and the third-place game.

As co-hosts, the Canadian national team is expected to gain an automatic berth in the 2026 tournament with the United States and Mexico. Canada’s sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where it did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungary and the Soviet Union in the group stage.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us; this is obviously a world-class event, a scope of which we haven’t seen in our country,” added Reed. “It’s one of the strongest sports, the largest sports and I think it can become the preeminent sport in our country. That’s the legacy that we’d like to see.”

With files from Elise Stolte

dvandiest@postmedia.com

@DerekVanDiest

A look at the World Cup’s first-round groups .
The World Cup kicks off on Thursday with a lone match, getting Group A underway with host Russia taking on Saudi Arabia. Group A:

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