Soccer Quebec deeply disappointed with Quebec’s withdrawal of World Cup support

The FIFA World Cup is a high profile event noted for the popularity of the sport as well as for the promotion of a city, a province and a country. Over 3.5 billion viewers watched matches of the last World Cup held in Russia in 2018. This figure will rise in 2026 because the number of participating countries will increase from 32 to 48.

Soccer Quebec is letting the Government of Quebec know that the organization is disappointed with the announcement that the Ministry of Tourism is withdrawing its financial support for Montreal’s candidacy to host matches in FIFA’s World Cup 2026. Quebec was originally on board dating back to 2018 and their reversal of support endangers Montreal’s chances to host the biggest sports event in the world. For about one month every four years, most of the world’s inhabitants stop everything they’re doing to watch the qualifying countries battle it out for soccer supremacy. Hosting games presents a unique opportunity for Montreal and all of Quebec to enjoy worldwide exposure as well as an influx of tourism dollars. Soccer is the most popular sport on the planet, in Quebec there is close to 200,000 members taking part in the province’s 18 regions on200 clubs. “We are going to do everything in our power and in concert with the City of Montreal and our partners from Tourisme Montreal and the Olympic Park, to convince the government of Quebec to reverse its decision,”Pierre Marchand, the president of Soccer Quebec said. “We firmly believe that this event represents a unique and very prestigious opportunity to contribute to the economic recovery of Quebec following the two difficult years that we will have gone through.” The financial considerations aside, hosting the World Cup in Montreal will benefit the youth of the province as thousands of young people will be able to take part in the sports and educational programs put in place as part of this event. There has been 15 years of preparation and collaboration with Soccer Quebec and other important partners including the hosting of other FIFA events like the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the losing bid could prove to diminish the image of Quebec and Soccer Quebec. Montreal is one of three shortlisted cities in Canada and the only French speaking one vying for games to be played in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Soccer Quebec is very aware that these are difficult economic times but feels it is important to take into account that the event will be held in 2026, in the midst of what should be an economic recovery. Soccer Quebec wants the government to take the projected economic impact into consideration; the legacy in sports development, infrastructure, as well as programs dedicated to the promotion of sport, and reconsidered its decision. The FIFA World Cup is a high profile event noted for the popularity of the sport as well as for the promotion of a city, a province and a country. Over 3.5 billion viewers watched matches of the last World Cup held in Russia in 2018. This figure will rise in 2026 because the number of participating countries will increase from 32 to 48.

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