CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE in VANCOUVER —- Even before the bidding has been opened by world federation FIFA, Canada is already considered pursuing host rights to the 2026 World Cup finals.
On the eve of the end of the Women’s World Cup in the country, Canadian Soccer general secretary Peter Montopoli said at the official Canada 2015 closing press conference that the men’s edition was the only tournament missing from its collection.
Even though interest is high from southern neighbours the United States and Mexico, Montopoli said Canada has proved itself as a “great host” over the past month.
“When this is over we will have hosted every major FIFA competition, youth senior women’s, except the men’s World Cup,” said Montpoli who is also the ceo of the Women’s World Cup organising committee, .
“So when the bid guidelines come out its incumbent upon us to take a look and see if that there is a potential to host a men’s world cup in our country in accordance with the guidelines that is certainly we’ve proved we can be a great host in our country and we’d certainly like to do it again pending the right opportunities and circumstances.”
Victor Montagliani, chair of the LOC and head of Canadian Soccer, was more cagey on the prospect of a potential bid, insisting it was more important to “carry on the momentum” of the success of the women’s tournament.
However, he did express his relief that the final two days of the competition would be focused on the teams involved and not on issues such as the FIFA crisis with president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke deciding not to attend the final in Vancouver on Sunday.
Montagliani said: “Whoever the winning captain is, I don’t think they care who gives them the trophy. It’s the prerogative of the FIFA president to go whatever competition they want. The decision has been made. But I think it’s important the focus needs to be on the two games and the players who are on it not the suits who run football like myself.
“So I’m happy from a perspective that the focus is on the two teams in the third place match and the two teams in the final. I think whoever wins the women’s World Cup, whether it be you, me or anyone else who hands it to them I don’t think they are bothered by it.”