‘Uni­fied’ World Cup bid has Canada on the road

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVID­SON

With the vote on the 2026 World Cup host less than a month away, Peter Mon­topoli is a man on the move.

The sales pitch for the joint bid by Canada, the U.S. and Mex­ico has taken the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Cana­dian Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion and col­leagues around the globe in ad­vance of the June 13 de­ci­sion at the FIFA Congress in Mos­cow.

The so-called uni­fied bid is up against Morocco in the race to play host to the men’s soc­cer show­case.

Mon­topoli, who dou­bles as Canada bid di­rec­tor, points to a 1969 com­edy about a whirl­wind sight­see­ing tour of Europe called If it’s Tues­day, This Must be Bel­gium.

“That was me the last two weeks and we ac­tu­ally ended up on a Tues­day in Bel­gium,” he said.

Mon­topoli spent much of those two weeks meet­ing soc­cer of­fi­cials in Asia, in­clud­ing stops in Jakarta, Bahrain and Oman, in ad­di­tion to vis­its to Bel­gium, Den­mark and Lux­em­bourg.

While Mon­topoli re­turned to Canada, the bid tour con­tin­ued to Turkey and Saudi Ara­bia.

He’ll be in Lyon, France, for Wed­nes­day’s Europa Cup fi­nal, re­join­ing bid of­fi­cials for one fi­nal push in Europe.

CSA pres­i­dent Steven Reed and chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer San­dra Gage, along with U.S. and Mex­i­can soc­cer of­fi­cials, are also on the road mak­ing the uni­fied bid case.

“We feel very good,” Mon­topoli said of the cam­paign.

He calls the mes­sage be­hind the uni­fied bid “very ac­cu­rate, 100 per cent truth­ful and very very com­pelling.”

The race to host the 2026 World Cup has taken place in a com­pressed sched­ule with bid books due into FIFA on March 16. Morocco and the uni­fied bid have been sell­ing their vi­sions to mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions ever since. Toronto, Mon­treal and Ed­mon­ton are the Cana­dian host cities in the bid.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Canada Soc­cer gen­eral sec­re­tary Peter Mon­topoli has been meet­ing with soc­cer of­fi­cials around the globe to push the mer­its of the 2026 World Cup bid that in­cludes Canada, the U.S. and Mex­ico.

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