Toronto and Vancouver among the host cities of the 2026 World Cup

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Toronto and Vancouver will host matches at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, while Edmonton has been left out.

On Thursday in New York, FIFA announced the 16 host cities from among 22 final candidates across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

BMO Field in Toronto and BC Place in Vancouver were selected, while Commonwealth Stadium was skipped.

Vancouver was announced as the host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, June 16, 2022 during a live viewing event at BC Place Stadium.  Pictured (left to right) Vancouver City Councilor Rebecca Bligh, PAVCO CEO Ken Cretney, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark and Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth celebrating the announcement.
Vancouver was announced as the host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on Thursday, June 16, 2022 during a live viewing event at BC Place Stadium. Pictured (left to right) Vancouver City Councilor Rebecca Bligh, PAVCO CEO Ken Cretney, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark and Deputy Premier and Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth celebrating the announcement. Photo by Jason Payne /Postmedia network

“We are very proud of Canada’s Bid Host Cities for submitting substantial and compelling bids for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” Canada Soccer President Dr Nick Bontis said in a statement. “The venue selection competition was the toughest in FIFA history. Today’s success is a testament to the commitment and dedication of cities, provinces and the federal government to hosting the most prestigious sporting event in the world.

“We congratulate Toronto and Vancouver; we would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Edmonton for its historic support and desire to contribute to the growth and development of our sport in this country by hosting FIFA competitions.

The 2026 World Cup will grow from 32 to 48 teams and will feature 80 matches. The United States is expected to host more than 60 games, while Vancouver and Toronto will be split between eight and ten games, as will Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.

As co-hosts, Canada’s National Men’s Team should automatically earn a spot in the tournament.

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Canada have qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and will be taking part in the event for the first time since their only previous appearance in 1986 in Mexico.

“We have the rare opportunity to come together as three neighboring nations to use sport to transform and improve lives and communities,” Bontis said. “We look forward to supporting the host cities, our partners across Canada, the United States and Mexico, and FIFA in delivering what is sure to be the biggest and best FIFA World Cup in history. . The 2026 FIFA World Cup is a unique opportunity to impact and grow the game in Canada as we welcome the world. »

Of the 22 candidate cities, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and New York were selected in the United States. Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara will host matches in Mexico.

International footballers, left to right, Hirving
International footballers, left to right, Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano, Jonathan Osorio and Christian Pulisic wait along 6th Avenue for FIFA’s announcement of the names of the host cities for the 2026 World Cup soccer tournament, the June 16, 2022, in New York. Photo by Noah K. Murray /AP Photo

Originally, it was thought that 10 host cities would be selected in the United States, while three would be in Canada and Mexico. Excluding Edmonton, 11 US cities were selected.

Vancouver had given up early in the bidding process when the BC provincial government at the time was unwilling to make the financial commitments required by FIFA.

Vancouver came back into the fold when a new provincial government was elected and made the necessary financial commitment to host the event.

The provincial government of Alberta made the financial commitment just before the deadline imposed by FIFA, but it came with conditions requiring a minimum number of games and that Canada play in Edmonton. Montreal pulled out a year ago citing concerns about cost overruns.

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“I don’t think it could have been a roadblock,” Edmonton Major Amarjeet Sohi said. “We sent letters (Wednesday) confirming the province’s commitment and the city’s commitment and the flexibility that the province was ready to do.

“There could have been other factors that could have gone into the decision when FIFA were looking at which cities to select. We really appreciate the province’s partnership in this regard.

The joint bid of the United States, Mexico and Canada has been selected to host the 2026 tournament against Morocco in 2018. Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies spoke on behalf of the bid at the selection night in Moscow, in Russia.

The City of Toronto has pledged to expand the capacity of BMO Field from 30,000 to over 40,000, the minimum required by FIFA.

BC Place, which hosted the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, will need to install a natural grass pitch.

Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium is the largest stadium in Canada with a capacity of just over 56,000. BC Place has a capacity of over 54,000.

Mexico hosted the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, while the United States hosted the 1994 tournament. This is the first time the tournament has been hosted by three different countries. The 2002 World Cup was co-hosted by Korea and Japan.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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