KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Canadian government has announced it is “supporting-in-principle” the 2016 World Cup host bid being undertaken by the United States and junior partners Canada and Mexico.
The wording of the formal statement appeared to fall below the usual fulsome backing which national governments usually provide, with their words at least, in the pursuance of staging rights to a major sports event.
The bid books of both the United 2026 and rival Morocco campaigns are due to be delivered to the world football federation on Friday, the same day as a FIFA Council hears an update from president Gianni Infantino on the campaign which reaches a climax with a vote in congress in Moscow on June 13.
Support from the Canadian government was delicred by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
She said: “Hosting major sporting events allows Canadian athletes to compete at home in front of their families, friends and fans. It is also a significant opportunity for Canadians to witness, first-hand, world-class sport competitions. What better place to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup than in our multicultural cities where every team is a home team.”
The government of Canada, which hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2015, has promised up to $5m “to support continued development of event plans and budgets that will inform future decisions around specific funding for the event.”
Duncan’s words were welcomed by Steve Reed, president of Canadian federation and co-chair of the United 2026 bid.
He said: “Canada has raised the bar for women’s and youth FIFA competitions including the most recent record-setting FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and as the only G7 country to have not hosted the men’s competition, we are more than ready to welcome the world along with our neighbours in Mexico and the United States.”
FIFA always looks to prospective host governments to underwrite bids with not only words of support but guarantees concerning security, tax affairs and infrastructure.