Canada is a country know for its love of hockey, but soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in North America and Canada.
With teams like the Montreal Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC attracting dedicated fan bases, the timing is right for Canada to help host a World Cup, but there is one key word in there: help. They will not be the only hosts in 2026 as they will be sharing the honour with Mexico and America. So, with such a unique decision from FIFA, there are some unique rules that Canadians should be aware of.
Here are three things Canadians should know about hosting the 2026 World Cup:
Canada is not guaranteed a spot in the tournament (At least not yet)
While there will still be a vote to decide whether or not all three teams are given the opportunity to automatically qualify for the tournament, it’s possible that Canada would not qualify. In most World Cups, the host country is automatically in the tournament, but with three host countries, some feel that giving automatic entry to so many teams would be unfair.
Canada will still have the opportunity to qualify without any help from FIFA as well, as there is still the Qatar tournament to be played in 2022.
The 3 cities that have been proposed as hosts in Canada are Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton
Just like it was with the Women’s World Cup in 2015, the games will be split across the nation. In the Women’s World Cup, six cities hosted games across Canada, but in this proposal, only three will receive those honours.
Montreal will renovate Olympic Stadium, Edmonton will use Commonwealth Stadium and BMO Field will be used in Toronto.
Canada will host 10 games, none in the quarterfinals or beyond
FIFA can change how the schedule works, but within the current bid, Canada would have 10 games. Because of the changes to the World Cup format for the future (Adding a Round of 32 knockout stage) they may receive some elimination games, but nothing past the quarterfinal. It would likely be the same for Mexico with all games in the quarterfinals and beyond being played in America.