Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Nashville considered possible host site for 2026 World Cup

Philly in, Pittsburgh out as 2026 World Cup bids are cut to 32 Copy-Cincinnati on list of 41 cities that could host 2026 World Cup matches
Elaine Woods | 06 October, 2017, 00:35

Toronto - with BMO Field as a possible venue - was one of four Canadian cities shortlisted Wednesday to become an official host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as announced by a group hoping to bring the event to North America.

This narrows down from the initial list of 44 cities announced in mid-August. "We are proud that FC Cincinnati and our collaboration with our fans, our community and business partners have unleashed this soccer movement and put Cincinnati on the national and global soccer stage".

The bid committee's press release did note, though, that the cities which had been eliminated are still eligible as sites for team base camps, and could still be involved in a potential North American 2026 World Cup in other ways. The committee whittled the list of contending cities down to 32 spots across the three nations. "We will continue to work diligently to finalize our hosting documents so we can bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to our Queen City".

Representatives from the 32 potential host cities are set to travel to Houston on November 13 to take part in a working session with the Committee. The victor is expected to be announced in June 2018.

US soccer president Sunil Gulati is confident that North America's infrastructure will support their World Cup joint bid.

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He did not elaborate, except to say that the committee had not come to any conclusions and that the investigation is ongoing. The investigation has so far featured dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of transcripts, he said.

Stadiums under consideration in the U.S. include several venues used in the 1994 World Cup like the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

Thirty-two teams from across the globe compete in the World Cup.

"If the North American bid is successful, Federation Internationale de Football Association will work with cities to create a sports development strategy that ensures a social, economic and environmental legacy", reads the release from the city.

In May, FIFA's membership voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Council's proposals to keep the bidding window for the 2026 World Cup open for a further three months at the governing body's Congress in Bahrain. Rice-Eccles Stadium is one of the smallest of the stadiums on that list.

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