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Canadian government endorses United 2026 World Cup bid

The Canadian government has agreed in principle to support the country’s joint bid for the 2026 Fifa World Cup alongside the United States and Mexico.

Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, said the national team football tournament would represent a “significant opportunity” for Canadians to witness a world-class competition first-hand.

The Canadian government has pledged to initially provide up to C$5m (€3.2m/$3.9m) to the bid, should it prove successful. The contribution would support the continued development of event plans and budgets that will inform future decisions around specific funding for the event.

The bid has been dubbed United 2026 and will face competition from a sole proposal by Morocco. Fifa is expected to make a final decision on the hosting rights for the tournament on June 13, ahead of the start of this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Canada has never hosted the men’s World Cup but successfully staged the women’s edition in 2015. The tournament was held in six cities and provinces across Canada and attracted 1.35 million spectators.

On the bid for 2026 World Cup, Duncan said: “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.”

Steven Reed, Canada Soccer president and co-chair of the United 2026 bid committee, added: “Canada has raised the bar for women’s and youth Fifa competitions including the most recent record-setting Fifa Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and as the only G7 country to have not hosted the men’s competition, we are more than ready to welcome the world along with our neighbours in Mexico and the United States.”

In October, the bid committee narrowed down the list of potential host cities to 32. Four Canadian cities were listed, three from Mexico and 25 from the US. The Canadian cities in contention are Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver (pictured).

The 2026 World Cup will be the first edition of the tournament to take place under an expanded format, with 48 teams set to compete.