BC considers supporting joint World Cup bid, but 'not at any cost'

BC considers supporting joint World Cup bid, but 'not at any cost'

Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton had been identified as potential candidates for hosting games, but Vancouver's involvement was put in serious doubt on Tuesday when B.C. Premier John Horgan stated he wanted some guarantees on the cost for the province before signing an agreement with the United 2026 bid committee. The presenters told council total costs for Vancouver were not finalized because Federation Internationale de Football Association had to first decide in June which country or countries will get the 2026 event; Morocco is the only competing bid.

Horgan said his government has told the North American bid committee it wants to see World Cup soccer in Vancouver, but "not at any cost".

Steven Reed, President of Canada Soccer and Co-chair of the United Bid Committee, added: "Canada has raised the bar for women's and youth FIFA competitions including the most recent record-setting FIFA Women's World Cup and is the only G7 country to have not hosted the men's competition".

Members across the aisle are criticizing the province for its hesitation, saying B.C.'s bid has been years in the making.

Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the province and United 2026 "couldn't agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs". "I have to make sure that taxpayers aren't on the hook for unknown costs at the whim of Federation Internationale de Football Association".


A spokesperson for Soccer Canada couldn't say whether B.C. had missed any internal deadline. "I'm just not prepared to sign off on that and nor is the minister of finance".

"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".

"While we support the prospect of hosting the World Cup, we can not agree to terms that would put British Columbians at risk of shouldering potentially huge and unpredictable costs", said Beare in a statement.

But Horgan said he also has a responsibility to protect taxpayers' money. The bid could still go forward, but without Vancouver as a host city.

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

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