Bill Kelly: FIFA could sideline Hamilton’s 2026 Commonwealth Games bid

A Hamilton group is pushing for the city to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
A Hamilton group is pushing for the city to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Will Erskine / Global News

The latest twist in Hamilton’s attempt to land the 2026 Commonwealth Games has a lot of people scratching their heads.

We know that, at the request of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Hamilton group refocused its bid for the 2026 Games with the understanding that the federation would essentially rubber-stamp the Hamilton bid.

READ MORE: Hamilton Commonwealth Games committee moves forward despite concerns from province, FIFA

Of course, the bid would be dependent upon support and funding from the federal, provincial and local governments.

That’s when it gets a little crazy.

The 2026 World Cup of Football will be played in North America, and Toronto is slated to host four matches.

READ MORE: Hamilton-area MPP suggests province won’t back city’s 2026 Commonwealth Games bid

Reliable sources have told me that soccer’s governing body, FIFA, has essentially told the province that if it supports the Hamilton Games bid, FIFA would move those four Toronto dates to another city.

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But why?

There is really no conflict here.

READ MORE: Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto lone Canada candidates cities for 2026 World Cup, FIFA says

The World Cup will be played in early summer and the Commonwealth Games would be a couple of months later, long after the last vuvuzela is blown.

It seems that this is simply a FIFA power play, and it smacks of the kind of backroom dealing and corruption that has stained so many international athletic organizations.

This world thing has more plot twists than an Agatha Christie mystery novel.

Some Hamilton councillors are now complaining that they just don’t know what’s going on.

That’s no wonder — apparently, nobody else does either.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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