Canada plans to bid for the 2026 International Soccer Federation (FIFA) World Cup.
Victor Montagliani, the president of the national soccer federation, made the disclosure last week at a press conference to announce the organization’s 2014-2018 strategic plan.
“The process has to start now of a bid to stage the grand-daddy of them all,” said the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) president. “We are the only G-8 nation not to host the World Cup. We have hosted almost every other event…I think it’s time for Canada to step up to the plate.”
Brazil (2014), Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) are hosting the next three men’s tournaments.
Montagliani said the 2014-2018 strategic plan is based on ideas gathered from across the country.
“It will help us build towards becoming a leading soccer nation and provide the road map to help us get there,” he said. “It is the product of the passion that pervades the Canadian soccer community, the passion that will assure our success moving forward.”
As part of the plan, the association engaged in a public outreach initiative from March 17 to June 15 last year, asking the soccer community to share their thoughts on how best to support the sport in Canada.
“Our focus must remain fixed on the key priorities that emerged from our consultations with Canadians and that are outlined in the plan; technical leadership, national team performance and growing and governing the game of soccer in Canada,” Montagliani added.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Ghana will represent Africa at this year’s Under-20 women’s World Cup in Canada.
Nigeria won their six qualifying matches, scoring 31 goals without conceding any while Ghana came from behind to beat Equatorial Guinea who shut them out 1-0 in their first leg meeting. The West Africans clinched the return leg in a penalty shootout.
Ghana played just two qualifying matches after Guinea-Bissau and Uganda withdrew from the regional qualifying tournament.
“We did not play any competitive games until the Equatorial Guinea match, so I think we were match rusty,” said Ghanaian coach Bashir Hayford. “But we will prepare very well before we travel to the World Cup.”
Nigeria reached the final after bouncing Sierra Leone, Tunisia and South Africa.
And, a total of 30 countries will take part in the preliminary rounds to decide the seven nations which will advance to the group stages of the Confederation of African Soccer qualifying tournament.
The other 21 teams of the 51 entrants have received byes into the group stage. The 28 nations will then be split into seven groups with the top two in each pool and the best third-placed country qualifying for the finals along with hosts Morocco.
A ranking system based on the past three Nations Cups and 2014 World Cup qualifying determined the 21 nations who automatically advanced to the group phase.
The preliminary rounds of the qualifying process take place between May and August, with the final phase to be held from September 5 to November 26.