Home Canadian Soccer The Association Montopoli: Canada has no plans to share World Cup 2026 bid with another nation

Montopoli: Canada has no plans to share World Cup 2026 bid with another nation


The General Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association made it clear: When Canada bids for the World Cup, it won’t have a dance partner.

Peter Montopoli was in Edmonton Wednesday, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce about the coming U-20 Women’s World Cup and the Women’s World Cup in 2015. But the Canadian Soccer Association’s bid for the 2026 World Cup, which is expected to go to FIFA some time in 2016, also came up.

And, when he was asked about the possibility of submitting a shared bid, Montopoli said the answer is no.

“It’s a single bid. It’s Canada, at this moment. It’s Canada, the Canadian Soccer Association that will be bidding, and we will continue along that line. There really have been no discussions on joint bids, either Mexico or the United States. It’s not a position we’re taking. It is a straight bid from the Canadian Soccer Association.”

Montopoli said that getting the 2026 World Cup would complete a journey that began in Edmonton in 2002, when 45,000 fans attended the final of the then-named U-19 Women’s World Championship, a predecessor of the U-20 Women’s World Cup. FIFA officials were startled by the Canadian suppot for women’s youth soccer, and that final put Canada on the road to hosting the U-20 World Cup in 2007, then the U-20 Women’s World Cup this year and the Women’s World Cup in 2015.

“The path of where we are going, in terms of soccer in this country, started in 2002, we’re weaving it through 2015, but I don’t think it’s going to end in 2015. We hope that it goes to 2026. We are planning to put a bid in, we are waiting for the FIFA protocols and all their documents and requirements for a men’s World Cup. We are familiar with it, but, until FIFA lays down the process it’s hard for us to comment on what it looks like.

“But we would like to make a serious bid. We would like to think that FIFA is looking at CONCACAF, our region. If you look at the last number of FIFA World Cups, they have not been in CONCACAF, so is it time for it to come back to CONCACAF? We’d like to think so. And, if it comes back, we will be ready to be the major bidder for 2026.”

The fact that next year’s Women World Cup will feature games spanning the second-largest nation in the world, in five time zones, should ease fears about hosting a World Cup which will require visitors and teams to fly from city to city, rather than take trains or buses. As well, a lot will be learned from the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in the world’s largest country by landmass, Russia.

“We will learn that from Russia,” said Montopoli. “We will learn how they are planning that and FIFA will learn from that, as well. Interestingly, Germany, in 2011 (Women’s World Cup) had one time zone. They bused every team to every match. We are pretty well flying teams to every match. People just don’t see from an organizational perspective how expensive it is for us to be doing something like this as opposed to a European country that gets a competition and hosts it and run it. I don’t want to say it’s simple; it’s not simple. But the logistically it’s much easier when you are within a car ride, a couple of hours, of all these venues. We’re not. We’re four hours, four and a half hours, by air, to get from Ottawa to Edmonton. But we’re used to being faced with the impossible in Canada. We say we’re going to do it, and we’ll do it well.”

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  1. Ned Flanders

    August 26, 2014 at 4:24 am

    how about we become a real soccer nation and not a third world one before we go play with the big boys?
    we have no league even, we are nothing. we aren’t even our arch enemies guadeloupe. we are light years from Iceland that was one goal away from going to WC.

    The US had no league when they won the rights to the WC but the MLS was one of the conditions and also the US was a HUGGGGE market that FIFA wanted to enter.
    I dont see FIFA saying. “Oh, we need to get into this market”.
    They are saying this about China, though which after the 2008 games success, has shown it is ready for the WC. They also have a league of their own AND they are an even bigger market than US 1994 was.
    Heck, by the time 2030/40 come around, India might have something going soccer wise and another market for FIFA.
    There are more markets and the old guard from europe that want back in so I don’t see the appeal Canada has. ‘Sure, well give it to the country that hasn’t had a league in 25 years.”

    Why would FIFA go to a non-soccer nation (that isnt the potential market of USA1994) now that FIFA has expanded into new markets Asia, Africa, Gulf and the France, Italy, and other euros wanting back in?
    What is our angle?

  2. Mike

    July 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Perhaps the big giant head should see how the two women tournaments play out first before dreaming & scheming Canada into a potential black hole (financial/organizational). IMHO the local soccer scene in Edmonton isn’t even close to being acceptable on any stage let alone the WC. We shall see though because I have been wrong once before, 1978.

  3. Soccerfan

    July 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    sdflash2006, preach on brother!!! Some people are so out of touch with reality.

  4. sdflash2006

    July 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Peter Montopoli seems to represent a perfect example of what happens when power and the Peter Principle goes to people’s heads. Canada will be ready to be THE major bidder in CONCACAF for a 2026 WC??? Did he really say that with a straight face? I imagine Sunil Gulati and US Soccer will now fold up their tents and go home in the face of this powerful declaration. The only thing that is real in this article is the “at this moment” part of the Canada’s single bid statement. This absurd Canada WC flight of fancy might be posturing to get included in the US bid, in which case it makes some sense and maybe he does have a clue. On the other hand, this nonsensical rambling about the issue of flying between venues is bizarre….as is the reference to the land mass of Russia. Has he even looked at the map of where the games will be played in Russia? Hint Peter, if you haven’t, there are no games being played in Vladivostok. BTW, a substantial number of games in USA 94, SA10 and Brazil required air flights.

    This stuff reminds me of the statements coming out of the NASL about how they intend to become one of the most relevant leagues in the world soon. Falls under the realm of… if you say it long enough and loudly enough, maybe somebody will take you seriously. It is one thing for a for profit-minor league to sound like buffoons, another for a national soccer association trying to be taken seriously. How can CSA begin to be anything but a butt of jokes? Maybe a good start would be for one of the CSA staff to read the papers to Peter or teach him how to use a search engine so that reality might enter his nice bubble. Is anybody home? I continue to fear for the future of soccer in Canada. Nothing ever changes.

  5. Ed Fischman

    July 18, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    The only problem with Canada’s bid would be the stadiums aren’t there….and the demand isn’t there to build them, either. In fact, none of the stadiums in Canada are currently suitable, though BC Place is obviously one that could be, along with the baseball stadium in Toronto. If Canada wants in on the World Cup action, they really do need to approach the USSF on a combined bid. I’m not sure that the USSF is anxious to share, but it would probably be a good thing for MLS to have a combined bid and MLS officials would be quick to endorse the idea.

    • Steven Sandor

      July 18, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (which is hosting more Women’s World Cup matches than any other stadium in Canada) is the most “ready” World Cup-suitable stadium in the country. Capacity in the neighbourhood of 56,000.

  6. Soccerfan

    July 17, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Yes, I would love nothing more than the World Cup to come to Canada but it won’t happen in 2026. The USA is going to make a strong bid and don’t even think that FIFA will redirect the WC to the USA in 2022 with the Qatar fiasco. That will admit being wrong and FIFA is just too prideful of that. Let’s say we do make a bid, anybody that is drinking the Kool-Aid to think that the CSA will develop another professional leagues to help with the bid is insane. Have you ever heard of “saturation?” Having two professional soccer leagues in Canada makes as much sense as having hockey in Atlanta? And yes, Steve, I heard your interview on Jason Gregor and making the reference that a similar infrastructure exists in the UK and Wales and they make it work — it is not even close to understanding the soccer landscape between a country like Canada and a country like Enlgand. We do have some stadiums that are ready to go in Canada but where on earth would the other stadiums go for a World Cup bid? Saskatoon, get real!!!! Finally, people are getting a lot more smarter about the pitfalls of holding international events like the WC and Olympics. The economics don’t make sense in the end and the only people that truly see any money are the IOC and FIFA. This Montopoli needs a reality check and anybody that thinks we are hosting a World Cp in 2026 needs to wake up. And all you ‘haters’ that will hate on me, keep in mind that I have already circled the date for when the Women’s World Cup tickets go on sale. Canada should just be proud that we got the Women’s World Cup . Hosting the Women’s World Cup is completely different than hosting the men’s World Cup. I have attended several world cups, South Africa and Germany, and we as a nation don’t have the capital, people, enthusiasm or political drive to put one on.

  7. bishopvillered

    July 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I do not rate our chances if we’re competing against, instead of with, the USA.

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