(Twitter/WorldCupHQ)

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

The group hoping to bring the 2026 World Cup to North America has defended its decision for a 60-10-10 split in games.

The plan calls for the U.S. to stage 60 games, including all games from the quarter-finals. Canada and Mexico will each stage 10 matches.

Carlos Cordeiro, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, called it “the most optimal mix of cities and matches.” And he said the bid is not anticipating that the world governing body of soccer will make any changes to its proposal, assuming it wins.

“The split of matches that we have proposed to FIFA frankly reflect the resources of the three countries,” Cordeiro told a media conference call Monday. “We in the United States are blessed with some very substantial resources in terms of stadium infrastructure, cities and so on. And that reflects the 60 matches we have on the table.

“But at the end of the day there is a reason why FIFA has encouraged joint bids and we do think that our joint bids taken together provide for a vastly superior bid than our competition.”

The so-called unified bid is up against Morocco to stage the men’s soccer showcase. A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico.

The North American group presented its bid book to FIFA on Friday in Zurich.

Steven Reed, president of the Canada Soccer Association, downplayed the decision by Vancouver to withdraw as a candidate host city because it could not agree to FIFA’s demands.

“I think we’re still really excited about that the candidate host cities that we have,” said Reed, referencing Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.

“I guess to be perfectly honest I would be disappointed in that it’s my back yard and I’ve lived there for most of my life,” added Reed, a native of North Vancouver, when asked again about Vancouver missing out.

Chicago and Minneapolis also pulled out at the last minute.

The 2026 World Cup will feature a newly expanded format with 48 teams and 80 games, up from 32 and 60 respectively.

Cordeiro also cited the “opportunity for record revenues” with all games sold out and some 5.8 million tickets sold, making for ticketing revenue of more than US$2.1 billion.

The North American bid features 23 candidate host cities — including the three in Canada and three in Mexico. That list will be likely be reduced to no more than 16 by FIFA should the North American bid prevail.

Mexican Football Federation president Decio De Maria said it will be easy for those living in the north of Mexico to attend games in the southern U.S.

“I think it is the same for Canadians,” he said. “They can attend easily the games that are going to be in the north of the U.S.”

De Maria called that mobility “a rich powerful tool of our bid.”

The three executives were in Kuala Lumpur where they were presenting their bid to Asian soccer officials. They have already visited officials in South America, Africa and Europe.

“We’re not taking any vote for granted,” said Cordeiro.

The U.S. soccer boss said he was not concerned that the North American bid might be affected by anti-Trump sentiments around the globe.

“We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits,” he said.

“Look, this is not geopolitics,” he added, when pressed on the matter. “We’re talking about football and fundamentally, at the end of the day, what’s in the best interest of football and our footballing community. And we’ve had no backlash.”

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Saanich seeks power to lower speed limits

Saanich will have the power to lower speed limits to 30 km/h under changes

Police ready to evict tent city campers from Goldstream Park

Officers expected to begin moving in on campsite area at 11 a.m. Thursday morning

The Victoria International Wine Festival is back!

People can attend Sept. 20-21 at the Parkside Hotel and Spa

West Shore RCMP block entrance to Goldstream Park, expected to evict all campers Thursday morning

Roving tent city moved to provincial park Wednesday, advocates say homeless unfairly targeted

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Saanich mayoral candidates prepare for first roundtable

Mayor Richard Atwell and Coun. Fred Haynes will be among four mayoral candidates at Thursday’s forum

Officials: 3 killed in shooting at Maryland Rite Aid centre

FBI described the Aberdeen incident as an ‘active shooter situation’

The hunt for online herb: feds seek dope on hazy world of pot’s ‘cryptomarket’

In less than a month, Canada to be first industrialized country to legalize recreational marijuana

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called “missing middle.”

Canada’s goal is to play in a medal game at World Cup in Spain

The 2014 women’s world basketball championships were a coming out party for Canada.

Most Read