CONCACAF and Canadian Soccer Association President Victor Montagliani
2026 FIFA World Cup Unified Bid Announcement
April 10, 2017
One World Trade Center – New York City
“Thank you very much. It is indeed an honor, to stand here as the president of Canada Soccer, in this historic landmark. And as [U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati] says, it represents a lot of things. There has been a lot of work done behind the scenes for many years. I really thank Sunil’s open mindedness, U.S. Soccer’s open mindedness (and) Mexico’s open mindedness. And I think it’s a testament to also, I think, how football has changed in our region. I also happen to be the President of CONCACAF and we’ve completely changed our mindset in this region to having a more one-CONCACAF vision. Nothing illustrates that more than the three biggest countries in terms of GDP and size too, coming together to host the number one event in the world bar none, the Men’s (FIFA) World Cup. To me, I think it is (not only) an illustration of leadership on the part of the three countries, but also an opportunity to show the world. North America is lucky in that North America owes the world a lot. North America is populated by all parts of the world: Europeans, Africans, Asians, Oceanias, as we call them in our world. But you also have three guys here, who are sons of immigrants. Sunil, as we know, Decio de Maria, paisano Italiano as well, and I am a son of an Italian immigrant. Nothing illustrates more what football brings to this world than, I think, our three backgrounds. And us three are standing here as presidents of the federations of the countries that took in our families, is a very powerful statement and something that I am very proud of. So, on behalf of Canada, I want to thank my compatriots, Mexico and U.S. Soccer for this tremendous honor.
“From a bid perspective, we've sent over to FIFA to put the matter on the agenda for the congress as we want to elaborate on the process. That will be discussed in Bahrain with our colleagues. We've had some tremendous support, early on, already from confederation presidents throughout the world, and I think, as we move forward the momentum will build. Thank you very much."
On the three nations host receiving automatic berths:
"Yes, I think I have already been on record as saying what CONCACAF's position already was, that those are decisions that should probably be, obviously in consultation, with FIFA and the FIFA council. But obviously, the confederation would have a loud voice in that discussion. Ultimately, the regulations are clear when it comes to that. It is the decision of the FIFA council. I think those are discussions that we will have somewhere down the road and by Sunil's answer, I think you already know our position."
On the use of artificial surfaces in the 2015 World Cup:
"When we bid for the (2015) Women's World Cup, our actual bid didn't really stipulate any surface. But after we actually got the bid, FIFA made the decision that they wanted to go with artificial turf or two-star turf, as they call it. We then actually changed a couple fields to meet that. We invested in training facilitates and all that, so the decision was made by FIFA. We haven't discussed any of that here, but I'm sure that is FIFA's decision and whatever the surface is going to be, I think each country will respond to that part of the bid accordingly. Every Men's World Cup has been on grass, (so) I would assume this would be the same. If that's a decision by FIFA, then we'll respond accordingly."
On the opportunity to host the World Cup:
“Y también es una oportunidad para la ciudad tan los países si en Canadá o México o Estados Unidos que quieren el mundial porque también el mundial no es solamente un sueño de un país, pero una ciudad también. A la hora es una oportunidad también por la ciudad que quiere su mundial.”
Also, it’s an opportunity for a city as much as for the country to host a World Cup, whether it's in Canada, Mexico or the United States because a World Cup is not only the dream of a country, but the dream of a city as well. At the end of the day, it’s a chance for a city that wishes to host a World Cup game.