Vancouver Whitecaps’ Captain, Kendall Waston is expecting to represent his native Costa Rica at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in June (via @kwaston88/Twitter)

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Top Canadian soccer officials were at Saturday’s Champions League final in Kyiv, mixing business with pleasure as they pressed their case for the so-called unified 2026 World Cup bid.

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are up against Morocco to host soccer’s biggest showcase with a June 13 vote looming.

The Canadian Soccer Association contingent included president Steven Reed, general secretary and Canada bid director Peter Montopoli and former president Victor Montagliani, who doubles as CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president.

The 211 FIFA member associations, minus the bidding countries and any suspended nations, will decide on the host at a vote at the FIFA Congress next month in Moscow.

The Canadians, along with their U.S. and Mexican counterparts, made a presentation to Baltic nations prior to Saturday’s game. They had previously met with other European soccer officials in Ukraine for the Liverpool-Real Madrid showdown at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.

Montagliani said there would be more talks at the stadium — before and after but not during the game.

“That’s the good thing about it. Once the game kicks off, everybody watches,” Montagliani said Saturday prior to kickoff. ”Football is football and everybody here is a football person. Once the whistle blows, everybody’s going to be focusing on the pitch. So we’ll get to enjoy the game.

“But in between that, there’s a lot of sort of shaking hands and taking about the bid. We’ll be doing that right up until June 13.”

WORLD CUP: Sun never sets in a St. Petersburg summer

The Canadians have been piling up the frequent-flyer miles in their bid to leave no stone unturned in their sales job.

Reed has been to at least a dozen countries the last two weeks, with the CSA reluctant to make public his full itinerary so as to not tip off Morocco of its strategy.

There was a stop in Istanbul this week with Reed meeting up with Canadian captain Atiba Hutchinson, who plays his club soccer for Besiktas in the Turkish capital.

FIFA reforms have opened up the World Cup voting process, which in the past only involved the 24-person FIFA executive committee. The expanded 2026 tournament will feature 48 countries and 80 games.

The current unified bid blueprint calls for 60 games to be staged in the U.S. with Canada and Mexico splitting the remaining 20.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alaska ferry service may have to pay armed RCMP at Prince Rupert terminal

Without armed police at inspections, the port faces closure

Prince Rupert to send a high school golf team to provincials

For the first time in more than six years, Charles Hays Secondary School has a golf club

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read