By TATE STEINLAGE
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.
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.