Blatter keen on possible Canada bid for men’s World Cup

Sepp Blatter 3 (Getty Images)

By TATE STEINLAGE 

“It’s time.”

That’s what FIFA president Sepp Blatter had to say Monday about a future bid from the Canadian Soccer Association to host the Men’s World Cup. Blatter’s comments came on the eve of the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, which is to act as a precursor for next summer’s Women’s World Cup.

“It’s a project and if you’re going to have a project like the FIFA World Cup, it takes some time,” Blatter told the media in attendance. “You have had the courage and it was necessary (for CSA president Victor Montagliani) to have the courage to ask, to organize FIFA’s Women’s World Cup with 24 teams. It will be the first time.”

The Women’s World Cup in Canada next year will be the largest to date, with the field expanding from 16 teams to 24.

Blatter didn’t have to be asked about Canada bidding for the event — rather, the four-time head of FIFA took the initiative to confirm that Canada is ready to welcome the world.

“Under our continental rotation system, the tournament will now be being held in Europe and then Asia, after which we will be able to go back to Africa or the Americas, particularly North America,” Blatter said, according to FIFA. “You (Canada) had the courage to take on the challenge of hosting a 24-team Women’s World Cup for the first time and I am convinced that you will do a good job and the local people will respond positively.”

The CSA added to Blatter’s comments, saying its next step is to submit a formal bid for the 2026 World Cup.

“We’re the only G8 country that hasn’t hosted a World Cup,” Montagliani said. “I think we’ve sort of started to shed our humbleness a little bit … I think that’s our next step of evolution in terms of the growth of the game, and I think something that not only bodes well for our country but also the continent and will help our neighbours as well.”

Blatter was not asked about bidding corruption pertaining to Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 at the media briefing.

The U-20 women’s World Cup will open Tuesday with the U.S. women facing Germany at 7pm ET on ESPNU.

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What do you make of Blatter’s comments and the CSA’s plan to bid for the 2026 Men’s World Cup? Do you foresee Canada being good hosts for the event if selected? How would that impact U.S. hopes to host the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.

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61 Responses to Blatter keen on possible Canada bid for men’s World Cup

  1. Benjamin C. says:

    Ole’ Sepp is going to do whatever it takes to keep the World Cup out of the United States for the forseeable future. No bribes or graft to be had and no new stadiums to be built here, so no dice. (Not saying the bribes would be flowing in Canada, but they would certainly need new stadiums in order to host an event the magnitude of a World Cup).

    • Tk says:

      Except he wanted it here, supported it here, and stumped for it here.

      Don’t let facts get in the way of your words.

    • Lorenzo says:

      Word. But on the flip side if it’s Qatar or Canada, at least Canada would be close, good TV times, easy travel for our fans.

      • Benjamin C. says:

        Considering that MLS is a mostly U.S. league with a few Canadian teams, a much better idea (and it has been discussed before) is a joint bid with the U.S. in the lead.

        • Tk says:

          …so, you are just going to ignore that your opening statement is completely and utterly factually wrong? Blatter wanted the cup here. The guy is a clown and scum, but does that make it OK to just ignore reality? Good job.

      • Felix says:

        Like everyone, I’m not a big fan of Sepp.
        However, if we want CONCACAF to elevate itself, we need Canada to rise above its minnow status. Hosting a WC can do that like it did for us.

    • JCC says:

      It’s not like Canada doesn’t have stadiums. They have Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Edmonton all gave stadiums with capacity of over 50,000. They’re currently building a $278 million stadium in Regina. So that already puts Canada at 5. Minimum is 8 stadiums, which really means they would need 3 new ones. Definitely doable with the amount time they’d have if they got awarded the tournament.

      • mike says:

        yeah but then what to do with those empty stadiums?

        • JCC says:

          You mean the three they would probably have to build? My guess would be they would probably build stadiums that support CFL teams. There would probably be a new ones built for Calgary, Winnipeg, and Ottawa.

    • alf says:

      He’s trying to divert the attention away from Qatar and Russia

    • Ali Dia says:

      Ha this is barely worth worrying about. Poor piggy is trying everything to get Gulati’s attention, so he can bail him out of his Qatar mess. Have another Toblerone, Sepp… soon the mini-bar will be the only thing left to raid.

      Canada is a beautiful country with decent infrastructure, but it just doesn’t withstand scrutiny based on sheer size and the fact that most cities really aren’t different enough in the eyes of a tourist to merit the almost inhumane (and expensive) hauls. The result will be absolutely shambolic attendance numbers for matches like, say, Senegal-Honduras in Calgary, after both meager sets of fans just made the long trek from Toronto (and still haven’t gotten to see anything amounting to a beach on their summer vacation– though Stampede is worth seeing). God help you if the next roll of the dice comes up Montreal. Maybe you’ll get “lucky” and draw… Manitoba?

      Don’t get me wrong, I like Canada plenty. But the way to do Canada does not involve pinging around the place on trains and puddle jumpers. It misses the whole point of a place that many WC visitors might never see.

      Also, they’d need about a half dozen new outdoor stadiums that they’d struggle to fill even halfway ever again. So there’s that.

      • pureslang says:

        I feel that while you “love Canada plenty” you don’t actually know the first thing about Canada, why would you rather go to Manitoba than Montreal. MTL has the best nightlife in the country, is rich in history, hosts the largest english language comedy festival in the world.

        Also in Manitoba (more specifically Winnipeg) they have pterodactyl sized mosquitos in mid summer.

        A half dozen new stadiums??? Where did you get that knowledgeble number from? Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina and Ottawa and Hamilton all have stadiums large enough to host the event. The problem would be that they are all turf pitches to accommodate CFL football.

        You actually do not know what you are talking about and it’s laughable. The host nation doesn’t really need to fill the stadiums when people fly in from across the world. Remember how many American Outlaws flew down to Brazil. That’s what other countries do as well. Like the Dutch, or the Germans, or the English. Also try to keep in mind the record attendances for the Men’s U20 World Cup Canada hosted and the 2012 Women’s U19 (now U20) Tournament.

        • Ali Dia says:

          I said “like” not “love”

          Settle down. The Manitoba/Montreal comment was about distance. Fly from Calgary to Montreal some time and you’ll understand. But I agree that nobody wants to go to Manitoba, and also that Montreal is a blast.

          The stadia you name (excluding Regina, Hamilton, and the new 33k seater in Winnipeg) are mostly old, hardly modern, and won’t get any younger in the next dozen years (Ottawa probably ain’t even in the game with that thing… less than 25k isn’t it?). And as you’ve mentioned, they all have turf. Guarantee the new builds + upgrades (if they are even worthwhile at some of these rickety dinosaurs) run on aggregate well into the billions

          Who will pay for this? You seem to be under the impression that WC Brazil was a screaming financial success for the hosts. You seem to know plenty about Canada– what do you think they’ll make of a massively unnecessary public infrastructure program, in light of what we’ve learned from South Africa and Brazil?

          • pureslang says:

            Ottawa is 24 k with open end zones which would allow for a quick retrofit. Rickety Dinosaurs? BC Place in Vancouver was refurbished in 2010 and is state of the art. Additions and upgrades to McMahon in Calgary, Commonwealth Edmonton, and Rogers Centre in Toronto would be far cheaper than anything we saw in Brazil or S.A.

            Again you don’t actually know what you are talking about.

            As far as the trip from Calgary to Montreal is concerned I’ve made the flight many times, and I still don’t see your point. It would be comparable to a trip from of a trip from Seattle to any other major market not on the West Coast.

            • Ali Dia says:

              I neglected to include Vancouver,,, an obvious oversight. BC Place would be a class venue.

              Other than that, it sounds like we just have a different perspective on the feasibility and costs of making this appealing. Maybe we’ll find out which read was better one day… but probably not.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        They’ll just use the portable stadiums left over after Qatar ;)

    • Anthony says:

      if you think that US has never submitted Bribes for Olympics or World Cup, you must be pretty naive. Chuck Glazer anyone?

      • NC Jeff says:

        If you’re referring to SLC’s Winter Olympics, you have a bit of a point. However, you can’t get too upset with the corrupt officials involved in that scandal: SLC actually made a lot of sense for a winter olympics location … plenty of snow, challenging nearby mountains (skiing-wise), and a fairly large metro area. Now, Qatar in late June – early July does not make a lot of sense for a WC host … insane heat, very few even mid-size cities (basically, 2), and a host that would (unless things radically change before then) be highly unlikely to get a bid through standard qualification.

  2. David says:

    He’s just playing to the crowd, telling Canadian journalists what they want to hear.

  3. dude1 says:

    Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t Sepp just feel the icy hand of death upon him?

  4. Benjamin C. says:

    In this grand era of giving World Cups to countries that really don’t deserve them based almost completely on corruption, I am guessing China or India in 2030.

    • west says:

      Yea, looks like the entire BRICS bloc will get to host before the West gets a sniff again

    • NC Jeff says:

      2022 would be in Asia, so I doubt they go there in ’30 … I say either Uruguay or Uruguay / Argentina (just too much pressure to have the 100th anniversary of the WC in Uruguay). Now, for the ’26 WC, who would have the “juice” to give FIFA what they really want? … I say, Mexico or a joint bid of 2 of the following: Nigeria/Ivory Coast/Cameroon/Ghana (i.e., western Africa).

  5. Raymon says:

    Whatever, Sepp. Whatever.

  6. Wanto says:

    That’s a good idea but only if it forces Canada to start their own league like they did us.

  7. John says:

    Canada would have to have their own league.

    • Jack says:

      There is actually talk of them starting there own league.

    • User222 says:

      US shouldnt develop canadian players in MLS, college, etc… they will complete extremely well against us and possibly even beat us in crucial WCQ games…

      they just have to figure out how to grow grass and keep it 365 days a year….

  8. Dan says:

    Can someone, anyone, give me a possible justification for why a joint US-Canada bid would not be vastly superior to this? Put the finals in Toronto, I really don’t care, but confining the games to Canada makes zero sense. If you’re worried about travel issues, adding in major northern cities like Seattle, Chicago, New York and Boston wouldn’t make that big a difference – most of the Canadian population lives near the border anyway.

    Does Sepp like, ever, say anything reasonable?

    • Wanto says:

      What’s wrong with Canada hosting the World Cup by themselves?

      • JCC says:

        Nothing’s wrong with it. In fact a joint bid makes no sense for two countries that large. The reason it was done in Japan/South Korea for WC and Netherlands/Belgium for Euro was because of capacity concerns given the size of the countries. Canada has no such issue.

        • Dan says:

          I don’t have anything against Canada personally, but a joint US-Canada bid would generate vastly more revenue (see the success of the 1994 World Cup) than one hosted by Canada alone. Also, keep in mind that the proposal has been floated to expand the tournament to 40 teams meaning that Canada would have to build yet more stadiums which seems ridiculous consider that there already exists more stadiums just across the border.

          Adding cities like Seattle Chicago NYC and Boston adds like almost no travel time relative to the distance of having to fly across the entire continent anyway between Montreal and Vancouver.

          Also FIFA just makes up the rules as it goes. Sepp has likewise said that the 2030 WC should be hosted jointly by Argentina and Uruguay to honor the 100th anniversary. Uhhhh….pretty sure the 1930 WC was hosted by just Uruguay. Why would ARG be included? $$$.

          FIFA also seems cool with the idea of a Europe wide Euro Championship so they’re REALLY just making this up as they go along.

          It really should be apparent to everyone by now that FIFA (and Sepp Blatter in particular) is a huge joke.

          • JCC says:

            You’re seriously comparing the very first World Cup to to day’s behemoth of a tournament? The first World Cup only had 13 teams and three host cities. Uruguay today would not be able to host the World Cup on it’s own. Argentina is broke, they just defaulted for the 8th time last week. Joint hosting would be the only way for those two countries.

            • Dan says:

              Ok, that was like exactly my point. FIFA’s rules are that there shouldn’t be jointly hosted tournaments except, you know, when there should be.

              And thank you for reminding me that Argentina recently defaulted. I had no idea. I only visit my family there every year.

          • User222 says:

            why is Sepp even talking about 2030? is he planning to rerun 4 more times?

      • Increase0 says:

        Just not enough stadiums.

        Personally, I think they should just do a North American WC.

        USA, Mexico, and maybe a Group split in Central America. It will be just like the Hex! Weeeee. All the teams will love the travel.

        • JCC says:

          I think you guys are also forgetting, that a joint bid means two CONCACAF teams would automatically qualify, which means a spot would have to be taken away from a region. Where would it come from? FIFA won’t touch Africa, so that’s out of the question, Europe and South America would howl at losing a spot nor should they. That leaves Asia, and I can’t see FIFA taking a spot from them either.

          • solles says:

            just leave two spots for the remaining concacaf teams to compete for. solved.

          • Mason says:

            Simple solution: The Hex sends a team and a half, or two teams if you take a half away from Asia.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            This isn’t as complicated as you make it. Since ’98, there have only been 31 spots up for qualification. The host nation always qualifies, which brings the total to 32.

            Since 2006, the allotment for each federation hasn’t really changed:

            UEFA: 13
            CAF: 5
            Asia: 4.5
            Oceania: 0.5
            Conmebol: 4.5
            Concacaf: 3.5
            Host: 1
            TOTAL: 32

            Concacaf and Conmebol’s allotment hasn’t changed since ’98 (the first year 32 teams made the finals).

            So, if Canada and USA co-host, you’re looking at:

            3.5 slots for Concacaf
            1 slot for host

            Oh, but there are two hosts, so take ONE slot away from Concacaf, leaving Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, et al to fight over the remaining 2.5 slots.

            And since USA is always one of the Concacaf teams, the only effective difference is that Canada would get auto-entry. No one can gripe about that.

  9. JoeW says:

    Wow, what a sly slimy b*astard he is. This has nothing to do with the WC being in Canada. B/c you can find public statements from Ole Sepp saying that the USA would make a great host and that it was due to go back to Engerland.

    Nope. This is about divide and conquer. If Qatar were to lose the WC hosting rights and it were to go to the USA, that means Canada couldn’t host 4 years later. Effectively what this does is either force the USA to renounce being a host (either competing for a WC or being a replacement if something happens that makes Russia or Qatar out as a host). Or it splits Concacaf support for the USA and Canada. Meanwhile, if you take the USA out of the equation as a backup host in-case people conclude Qatar isn’t viable, then who’s left? You don’t want to do Europe two cycles in a row. Outside of Germany, England, and the USA, who could host the WC with 1-2 year’s notice?

    How slimy of Blatter. His comments have nothing to do with Canada as a host and everything to do with keeping the WC in Russia and Qatar.

    • Tate says:

      Wtf? Time for your medication, dude. Seriously.
      This is just soccer. Your health is more important. Take care of it.

      • Brad C says:

        I think the guy makes some good points…

        • Dan says:

          Agreed. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories (yes, Oswald shot Kennedy; yes we landed on the Moon), but seriously if you think FIFA has any credibility left you need to get your head out of the sand.

    • Henry says:

      Relax. You see his commercials, acting like a jerk. Nobody listens to what he says. Nobody cares what he says, he talks so much.Okay?

  10. Brad C says:

    Canada does have some oil money from the tar sands. Surely they can put together a nice bribe, err I mean bid…

    I can’t wait til Sepp is out. Plattini is an arsehole but better than Sepp…

  11. Old Dirty says:

    Does Canada have natural turf at their large stadiums? I thought most (if not all) of their stadiums were artificial turf due to the harsh winters.

    • Dan says:

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Correct, every current stadium in Canada with a capacity of greater than 24,000 (with the future exception of BMO field) has field turf.

      Granted they can shell out the money to install grass for the WC as Seattle did for our WC qualifies, but all the more reason this is a silly idea.

  12. Parlance says:

    This is a moot point since CONCACAF is already on record as supporting Mexico’s bid.

    • User222 says:

      no way, mexico will NEVER host for a 3rd time, especially since some elite Euros have only hosted once (Spain, England, France) or never at all (Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Norway….

    • solles says:

      on what record exactly?

  13. beto says:

    “It’s time.”

    For Sepp to retire

  14. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    CANADA WILL FINALLY QUALIFY :D

  15. Brad C says:

    I think if Fifa does end up having the WC in Qatar, having the next one in the USA would be a prudent move. Odds are the Qatar WC will be among the least attended while the USA is a lock to be one of the most attended. Heck, our WC in 94 is still the most attended even after the fact we had less games. Look it up…

    • Benjamin C. says:

      If you are not a straight male, I would not recommend attending the World Cup in Qatar, if it indeed happens.

  16. Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

    Right now, hosting the WC is the only way Canada qualifies.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      It would be easier to take FIFA seriously if they granted World Cups to nations that can at least consistently make it to the final round of qualifying. Hopefully, Canada will start making it to the Hex in the next few cycles, though it will continue to be difficult for them. Theoretically, if patterns stayed the same and Canada was granted the 2026 World Cup, you could have back to back competitions hosted by nations with absolutely no modern soccer pedigree.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Ummm… we were about one Paul Caligiuri goal away from being these guys ourselves. Seems a bit self-important to turn right around and lock the door that we came through, no?

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Benjamin C: “nations that can at least consistently make it to the final round of qualifying…. [World Cup] hosted by nations with absolutely no modern soccer pedigree.”

        I can see why some people think that’s important. However, I think it doesn’t matter in the slightest bit.

        Only 1 out of 32 nations gets the “free entry” as host nation. So what if that nation is a soccer minnow. Look down the list of nations that qualify for entry—no, not from the top; look down there at the bottom of the list: Iran, Cameroon, Honduras, England (hehe), Australia.

        Ooo, wow, so if Canada had hosted 2014, then a team like one of those mighty powers would have had to stay home. Just wouldn’t be the same tournament without Cameroon’s -8 goal differential, would it?