Sports

Vancouver loses FIFA World Cup bid for 2026

Vancouver loses FIFA World Cup bid for 2026

I have a higher obligation than just wanting to see World Cup soccer in Vancouver.

In particular there were "very serious concerns" about the agreement to use B.C. Place stadium to host games, including unknown security and renovation costs.

If the bid is successful, and Vancouver is selected as a host city, BC Place could host as many as five games during the tournament. Their bid books go to Federation Internationale de Football Association at the end of the week with a decision to be made June 13 at the Federation Internationale de Football Association congress.

The federal government threw its support behind the committee Tuesday with a promise of $5 million in immediate help if the bid wins.

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare says the province doesn't agree with the terms put forward by the bid committee, representing Canada, the US and Mexico, to host the games in 2026.

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, issued a statement Wednesday saying the government met regularly with the bid committee but was not told of "the risks and obligations faced by British Columbians". "Vancouver remains a city with an exceptional sports hosting history and we look forward to working with the province and our Sport Hosting Vancouver team to identify future global sporting events that bring positive economic and cultural impact to Vancouver".

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"Let's also ensure the costs to taxpayers are not out of control", he said.

The Liberals criticized the provincial government for not backing the bid.

A spokesperson for Soccer Canada couldn't say whether B.C. had missed any internal deadline. "I'm not prepared to sign off on that", he said. "We're going to make the decision that's in the best interest for B.C. taxpayers". The bid could still go forward, but without Vancouver as a host city.

"I think they have to be responsible as well, and understand that as much as we'd love to see world-class soccer come to B.C., it's not at any cost".

"We submitted our second bid last night and this morning we received notification that they've not accepted the bid", Beare said.

But Horgan said the responsibility was on higher bodies to ensure that B.C. wouldn't be on the hook if the budget expanded.