FIFA completes inspection of potential 2026 World Cup venues

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TORONTO (Reuters) – FIFA, the governing body of world football, has concluded its visits to potential venues for the 2026 World Cup which will be co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico with a stop in Toronto Monday, declaring a decision on cities can be expected in April.

After inspection visits to 22 cities and 23 venues, a FIFA delegation will now submit a report from which 16 hosts will be chosen, although FIFA Tournaments and Events Manager Colin Smith has suggested that number should not be was not set in stone.

“When the candidacy was presented 16 was referenced and we took note of that, but ultimately it is up to FIFA,” Smith said following a press conference at the time of the day. lunch on the top floor of a downtown Toronto hotel overlooking the National Stadium of Canada BMO Field. “We will complete these visits and then decide on the most appropriate number we need to host the tournament.

“We haven’t fixed the exact time (of the venue announcement) yet, but I suspect it will be more likely in April than in March.

Toronto and Edmonton are the two Canadian cities vying for the games while Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico are the Mexican candidates.

With the 2026 World Cup expanding to a record 48 teams, the joint bid calls on Canada and Mexico to each get 10 matches, with the rest going to the United States.

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York / New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, DC are potential sites in the United States.

The FIFA delegation looked at everything from infrastructure and heritage projects to stadiums and training facilities.

“Overall, we were absolutely delighted with the quality of the presentations,” said Smith. “It was a very competitive process, which will make our decision even more difficult.”

Vancouver, the venue for the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, belatedly expressed interest in taking part in the World Cup action, but Victor Montagliani, CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president, dismissed on Monday this suggestion.

“I know the Premier of British Columbia (John Horgan) has expressed some interest and it’s great,” said Montagliani, who was accompanied to the head table by Smith, Toronto Mayor John Tory. and Lisa MacLeod, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture. “But right now we’re dealing with the players we have, not the players who are not on the squad.”

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