Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Canada announces support for continental 2026 World Cup bid

Canada announces support for continental 2026 World Cup bid

The Federal government officially endorsed the North American collective application for participation in the world Cup 2026 Tuesday with the promise of an immediate payment of up to $5 million in case of victory of the application.

Federation Internationale de Football Association will choose between the North American bid and Morocco this June. However, now it appears the provincial government is having second thoughts. Applications for participation FIFA takes the rest of the week, and the decision will be taken at the FIFA Congress on 13 June. In a statement, Mayor Gregor Robertson said "we've done our part to sign on to the bid and are hopeful the provincial and federal governments can find an arrangement to support the bid going forward".

Vancouver is one of four Canadian candidate cities, and we could see up to five games played here during the tournament.

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"I have a higher obligation than just being a soccer fan. I have a higher obligation than just wanting to see World Cup soccer in Vancouver", Premier John Horgan told reporters Tuesday. "Let's bring soccer to Vancouver in 2026, but lets' also ensure that the cost to taxpayers are not out of control".

Johal also said he's received information that the internal deadline to join the bid was Monday night and that B.C. had already made a call indicating that it would withdraw. The B.C. Liberal opposition said the province has a history of hosting successful worldwide sporting events and it could be missing out.

If North America is picked to host the matches, Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan said Ottawa will provide up to Can$5 million to support the continued development of the event. Held in six cities and provinces from coast to coast across Canada, 1.35 million spectators attended the last women's World Cup - a record for the event - with an economic impact of almost a half-a-billion dollars. "That's good value for dollar, it's an ability to expose this province globally and I don't understand, how at the last minute, the minister can say we're pulling out", Jas Johal, B.C. Liberal MLA, said.

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