June 13, 2018 7:23 pm
Updated: June 13, 2018 9:46 pm

‘FIFA fever’ good for local Montreal soccer clubs, soccer fans alike

Wed, Jun 13: Montreal's Olympic Stadium is one of the three Canadian fields that will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, anticipation is already brewing in Montreal for the city to host the beautiful game.

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City officials reassured the media Wednesday that Montreal will be ready to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

“We are pretty confident that it is going to be done from now to 2026,” Rosannie Filato executive committee member said.

“We have to remember it’s still eight years from now,” Filato said. “That gives us a lot of time.”

FIFA member federations voted 134-65 in favour of selecting a North American joint bid over Morocco.

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READ MORE:5 things to know as FIFA votes on whether Canada will host 2026 World Cup

Canada, along with Mexico and the United States, will be hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Of the 80 games played between the 48 teams, 10 will be played in Canada for the first time in the country’s history.

Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is slated to be one of the pitches on which the world’s players will be awing audiences.

To fit under FIFA regulations, the stadium will be retrofitted with a retractable roof as well as grass, which the city is pricing at $200 to $300 million.

READ MORE:5 things to know as FIFA votes on whether Canada will host 2026 World Cup

Filato said the city expects to receive $200 million in profits from hosting a portion of the event.

Lakeshore Soccer Club technical director John Limniatis was, like many, excited to hear the historic announcement. “My initial reaction was, ‘Fantastic, it’s a great thing for our sport, for our image as a country and soccer here.'”

Bringing the world stage to Montreal, Limniatis says, is a great opportunity for young players to go to the stadium and see a World Cup game live.

“All those things are positive to every community and every soccer club,” Limniatis said.

READ MORE:Montreal Impact’s James Pantemis on his come up from Lakeshore Soccer Club

Having the games in Montreal will influence a younger generation to pick up the cleats, “That moment you get a good impression it will allow you to get involved in the sport.”

READ MORE: Canada, U.S. and Mexico will host 2026 FIFA World Cup

Impact soccer fan Brian Desousa hopes to get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch the soccer game, but fears the price of admission.

“Hopefully, if i’m lucky — those are really expensive tickets, I mean like really expensive,” Desousa said.

He looks forward to seeing his city transform for the FIFA.”It’s just going to be crazy,” Desousa said. “It’s going to be madness. So much tourism; the streets are going to be filled with soccer fans. It’s going to be nice. ”

Until the World Cup rolls in to town, die-hard soccer fans like Desousa can get their fill watching the 2018 games, which kick off on Thursday.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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