Frame­work set for U.S., Canada, Mex­ico soc­cer bid

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVID­SON

The CONCACAF joint bid for the 2026 World Cup now has a board of di­rec­tors and an ex­ec­u­tive team. What lies ahead is a lot of work in a short time frame.

Canada, Mex­ico and the U.S. will learn Aug. 11 whether they have com­pe­ti­tion to host the newly ex­panded world show­case of men’s soc­cer.

Dead­line for sub­mit­ting the for­mal bid to FIFA is March 16, 2018, with the win­ner slated to be an­nounced in June.

“Very con­densed,” Peter Mon­topoli, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Cana­dian Soc­cer As­so­ci­a­tion and the man who will quar­ter­back Canada’s part of the bid, said of the timeline.

“It’s ev­ery­body work­ing to­gether, all hands on deck, to make this hap­pen for the united bid by March 16, there’s no doubt about it. Cer­tainly there’s not the lux­ury of time.

“But in view­ing these things, it’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing as well be­cause it gives ev­ery­body who wishes to be en­gaged the nec­es­sary mo­men­tum to get things done in an ac­cel­er­ated time frame. If the will is there, we be­lieve it can get done.”

The three coun­tries have been work­ing on the bid since it was for­mally an­nounced April 10. On Thurs­day they added some flesh to the frame­work.

The 10-mem­ber uni­fied bid com­mit­tee board in­cludes three Cana­di­ans — Mon­topoli, CSA pres­i­dent Steven Reed and Vic­tor Mon­tagliani, CONCACAF pres­i­dent and FIFA vice-pres­i­dent.

The U.S. is rep­re­sented by board chair Sunil Gu­lati, Carlos Cordeiro, Donna Sha­lala, Dan Flynn and MLS com­mis­sioner Don Gar­ber.

De­cio De Maria and Guillermo Cantu rep­re­sent Mex­ico

Mon­topoli will serve as Canada bid di­rec­tor with Yon De Luisa, vice-pres­i­dent of the Tele­visa me­dia com­pany, as his Mex­ico coun­ter­part. John Kri­stick has been hired as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the united bid com­mit­tee with Jim Brown as man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in charge of tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions.

The four-per­son ex­ec­u­tive team, en­trusted with day-to-day ad­min­is­tra­tion of the bid process, re­ports to the board.

Mon­topoli plans to reach out to Cana­dian may­ors next week to be­gin the process of de­ter­min­ing their in­ter­est and whether they meet re­quire­ments.

The three coun­tries have al­ready agreed on a di­vi­sion of games with Canada and Mex­ico host­ing 10 each with the re­main­ing 60 go­ing to the U.S., in­clud­ing all knock­out matches.

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