(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

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

Art show to be held at White Rock’s Jan’s on the Beach

Art to be displayed until the end of December

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

Heavy police presence after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom (updated)

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Most Read

l -->