EDMONTON, March 16, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods), announced that Edmonton has been named as a candidate host city as part of the United 2026 bid to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Minister Sohi made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, who earlier this week announced the Government of Canada's support-in-principle for United 2026.
Held every four years, the FIFA World Cup™ is the most prestigious tournament of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Co-hosting this international event, watched by billions of people worldwide, would provide considerable sport, social, community, cultural and economic benefits, as well as showcase Canada around the world.
While Canada has never hosted the FIFA World Cup™ for men, it has successfully hosted other FIFA competitions at different levels, including the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™. This record-setting tournament was held in six cities and provinces from coast to coast across the country. The 1.35 million spectators who attended the newly expanded 24-team competition were responsible for an economic impact of nearly half a billion dollars.
The soccer governing bodies for Canada, Mexico and the United States jointly announced on April 10, 2017, that they would pursue a bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.
The importance of the Canada-United States-Mexico relationship is reflected in our strong diplomatic, cultural, educational and commercial relations. Canada remains committed to strengthening its multi-faceted relationship with its North American friends and allies. The collaboration of our three governments in support of the United Bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ is another example of how much our three countries can achieve when we work together toward common goals.
On June 13, 2018, FIFA will announce if United 2026, Morocco, or neither bidder will host the 2026 FIFA Men's World Cup.
"Hosting major sporting events allows Canadian athletes to compete at home in front of their families, friends and fans. It is also a significant opportunity for Canadians to witness, first-hand, world-class sport competitions. What better place to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ than in our multicultural cities where every team is a home team!"
—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport and Persons with Disabilities
"Edmontonians' passion for sport, in snow or in sun, is well known across the country. Having been a host city for the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, our great city is excited to be part of this exceptional opportunity. Supporting United 2026 is an important component of our government's commitment to investing in communities, so that fans of all ages can connect, be inspired and share in the unique experience of a World Cup."
—The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament (Edmonton Mill Woods)
On behalf of Canada Soccer, we congratulate the City of Edmonton for their inclusion in the Bid Book and thank them for their unwavering support of the United Bid. We would like the thank the Government of Canada for their commitment to the United Bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, and look forward to working with our Candidate Host Cities and government partners as we continue our efforts to secure the right to host the largest sporting event in the world."
—Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-Chair of the United 2026 Bid Committee
"Edmonton has an exceptional history hosting sporting events, like 2015's Women's World Cup. Hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ would showcase Edmonton's vibrancy, diversity and passion for sport. We are thrilled to continue the bid process and pursue this incredible opportunity."
—Councillor Michael Walters
The three Canadian candidate host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ are Edmonton, Toronto and Montréal.
The FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 and the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 helped generate $493.6 million in economic activity for Canada.
The Government of Canada is the single largest investor in Canada's sport system, promoting sport participation among all Canadians and providing support for young athletes, their national and multisport organizations, and the hosting of international events so that our athletes can compete with the best.
If the event is awarded to United 2026, the Government of Canada will provide up to $5 million to support continued development of event plans and budgets that will inform future decisions around specific funding for the event.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Annabelle Archambault, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 819-953-1275; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]