Home Canadian Soccer FIFA head of women’s competition gives Edmonton stamp of approval for WWC

FIFA head of women’s competition gives Edmonton stamp of approval for WWC

Stephen Mandel with the new slogan, "Edmonton Always Game"
A FIFA delegation that inspected Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium said Monday that it is delighted with the progress the city has made as it prepares to be one of the host cities of the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

“It’s absolutely acceptable to us,” said Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s head of women’s competitions, in a press conference held Monday in the Alberta capital.

And the former Swiss national teamer said that there is no issue with Commonwealth having an artificial surface.

“The discussion between artificial turf and natural turf is completely open,” she said.

“Really, there’s no big, open questions (about Edmonton). It’s about fine tuning.”

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and officials from the Province of Alberta met with FIFA and Canadian Soccer Association delegates. The soccer pitch was shown off at Commonwealth Stadium — and practice facilities at Jasper Place Bowl and Foote Field, where FC Edmonton of the NASL calls home, were also seen.

And, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel said a new 10,000-15,000-seat soccer-specific stadium could be one of the legacy projects left by the WWC.

FIFA head of women's competitions Tatjana Haenni and CSA General Secretary Peter Montopoli.
“FC Edmonton is a fine team,” said Mandel. “And I don’t think there’s any question that they need a 10,12 or 15,000 seat stadium to play in.”

That stadium could also be used for other events — and Mandel said the city is trying to be cooperative with the club’s ownership.

But what of Commonwealth Stadium? Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary Peter Montopoli said he was pleased with the “significant additions” made to Commonwealth Stadium so far — and the ones planned.

“Ones planned” were the two key words. That suggests that more work will need to be done to Commonwealth Stadium to have it ready for the women’s U-20 World Cup in 2014 and the WWC in 2015.

The final list of hist cities will be announced in the first half of 2012. In the second half of 2012, the CSA will announce which cities get which games — who gets the Canada games, who gets the semifinals and finals.

Mandel said he hoped Edmonton will get consideration for the big games.

“I think all the cities want to host the final game,” said Mandel. He said Edmonton will be fine with whatever the CSA decides, “as long as it’s a fair and transparent process.”

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