‘Unified’ World Cup bid has Canada on the road
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.
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.