Vancouver Whitecaps’ Captain, Kendall Waston is expecting to represent his native Costa Rica at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in June (via @kwaston88/Twitter)

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Top Canadian soccer officials were at Saturday’s Champions League final in Kyiv, mixing business with pleasure as they pressed their case for the so-called unified 2026 World Cup bid.

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are up against Morocco to host soccer’s biggest showcase with a June 13 vote looming.

The Canadian Soccer Association contingent included president Steven Reed, general secretary and Canada bid director Peter Montopoli and former president Victor Montagliani, who doubles as CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president.

The 211 FIFA member associations, minus the bidding countries and any suspended nations, will decide on the host at a vote at the FIFA Congress next month in Moscow.

The Canadians, along with their U.S. and Mexican counterparts, made a presentation to Baltic nations prior to Saturday’s game. They had previously met with other European soccer officials in Ukraine for the Liverpool-Real Madrid showdown at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.

Montagliani said there would be more talks at the stadium — before and after but not during the game.

“That’s the good thing about it. Once the game kicks off, everybody watches,” Montagliani said Saturday prior to kickoff. ”Football is football and everybody here is a football person. Once the whistle blows, everybody’s going to be focusing on the pitch. So we’ll get to enjoy the game.

“But in between that, there’s a lot of sort of shaking hands and taking about the bid. We’ll be doing that right up until June 13.”

WORLD CUP: Sun never sets in a St. Petersburg summer

The Canadians have been piling up the frequent-flyer miles in their bid to leave no stone unturned in their sales job.

Reed has been to at least a dozen countries the last two weeks, with the CSA reluctant to make public his full itinerary so as to not tip off Morocco of its strategy.

There was a stop in Istanbul this week with Reed meeting up with Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson, who plays his club soccer for Besiktas in the Turkish capital.

FIFA reforms have opened up the World Cup voting process, which in the past only involved the 24-person FIFA executive committee. The expanded 2026 tournament will feature 48 countries and 80 games.

The current unified bid blueprint calls for 60 games to be staged in the U.S. with Canada and Mexico splitting the remaining 20.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Construction on Hwy. 4 halted after tree crashes into traffic

Trees are being cleared along the highway between Port Alberni and the Tofino-Ucluelet junction.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Find your groove with hand drums in Port Alberni

Nanaimo-based trio will be holding drumming workshop and concert

Alberni Senior Men’s Floor Hockey League reunites

Port Alberni has always been a hockey town, even when there was no ice

B.C. BMX kid wows GoPro with homemade video

Eight-year-old Rex Johnson wins award for inventive video

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

10 feet from home: B.C. grassfire offers stark reminder how quickly blazes burn

Kamloops woman among first people in B.C. to be told to evacuate home this wildfire season

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

Mounties raid “extensive” Vancouver Island pot grow operation

Execution of 3 search warrants has yielded 3 arrests and the seizure of 2,000 marijuana plants

Platform chosen for online B.C. cannabis sales

Ottawa-based company to create websites for when marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Most Read