TORONTO – Should the city lend its support to a bid to host the 2026 World Cup? One city councillor says yes.
Councillor Mark Grimes introduced a motion Wednesday that directs the city to research the possibility of co-hosting the 2026 World Cup with other Canadian cities and American cities within a day’s drive of Toronto.
The motion passed by a vote of 39-2.
There’s no question soccer – football or futbol – is a popular sport in Toronto, though FIFA currently ranks the Canadian team is 112th in the world.
Spontaneous street parties erupted throughout the city during the last World Cup and according to the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), there are over 800,000 registered soccer players.
For comparison, Hockey Canada says there are just over 570,000 registered hockey players.
Grimes’ motion supports a bid by the Canadian Soccer Association. And that bid has found favour with some politicians, including Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
He voiced his support of the bid in a letter to the CSA, suggesting Ottawa could play a significant role.
“Ottawa possesses the world-class facilities, necessary amenities and network of planning professionals required to organize and stage a first-rate and very memorable FIFA World Cup,” Watson’s letter to the CSA read, according to the Ottawa Business-Journal.
Canada even gets a practice-run at hosting the largest soccer tournament in the world, when Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Moncton and Montreal co-host the 2015 Women’s World Cup, beginning in June 2015.