The world’s biggest sporting event could be on its way to Edmonton.
On Wednesday morning in Moscow, Russia, the 68th FIFA Congress awarded the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the United North American bid, submitted by Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Edmontonian Alphonso Davies, 17, was the first to speak in the United Bid’s final presentation to the FIFA Congress prior to the vote.
A total of 200 delegates representing every country registered with FIFA cast their vote, selecting the North American bid 134 to 65 over a bid from Morocco, with one voting for neither bid.
Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal were the three Canadian cities designated in the bid to possibly host games in the 2026 tournament, which is expanding to 48 team, up from the current 32-team format.
With the successful bid, the men’s World Cup will be coming to Canada for the first time.
Canada has played host to numerous FIFA events in the past, including the men’s Under-16 World Championship in 1982, the 2002 under-19 women’s World Championship, the 2007 men’s Under-20 World Cup, the 2014 Under-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
The win also gives Canadian national team an automatic berth into the 2026 tournament. Canada’s sole World Cup appearance was in 1986 in Mexico, where they did not score a goal, losing to France, Hungry and the Soviet Union in the group stage.
The majority of the 80 matches in the North American bid would be played in the United States, who hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Mexico played host to the 1970 and 1986 World Cup.
Part of the United bid guaranteed all games would be played on natural grass, which means if Commonwealth Stadium is chosen as a final venue, the artificial turf would be replaced for the tournament.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins Thursday …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal