Canadian host cities for FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 announced

By David Gold

FIFA Womens_World_Cup_2015_May_5May 5 - Six cities have been chosen to host matches during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa.

The event (pictured top) took place at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, which was confirmed as a Host City, with FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Canadian Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal, and Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) President Dominique Maestracci all in attendance.

Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, Moncton Stadium in Moncton, the Olympic Stadium in Montreal (pictured below), BC Place in Vancouver, Ottawa's renovated Lansdowne Park and a newly constructed venue in Winnipeg were named as the other host venues for the tournament, which will be first women's World Cup to feature 24 teams.

It was not confirmed where the opening game or final will take place.

Toronto, which has a team competing in the US Major Soccer League, is not included because it is staging the Pan American Games in the same year.

The announcement means that the Women's World Cup in 2015 will be the first sports event in Canada to be held from coast to coast.

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"It is with great excitement that I congratulate the official host cities of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup," said Gosal.

"The Government of Canada is proud to be a key supporter in the hosting of this prestigious event, which will provide Canadians across our country with the chance to experience the highest level of soccer competition in their own backyards.

"We look forward to cheering on our women's national team as they compete against the world's best."

Blatter added: "Women's football is continuing to mature and I am really pleased that football fans in cities across the country, from East to West, will have the opportunity to take part.

"The host cities play a crucial role in delivering a FIFA competition and I am sure that seeing world-class footballers across Canada will inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to get involved in the game."

"We are extremely grateful to FIFA for providing us with the opportunity to host this most important competition," said Maestracci.

"The sport of soccer continues to gain momentum both as a participatory and spectator experience in our country, with nearly half of all participants female.

"We thank the Government of Canada, and our provincial and municipal Government partners, for their outstanding support to ensure we will continue that growth through 2015 and beyond."

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Canada is also hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in 2014, host cities for which will be announced by the end of the year.

Women's football is popular in Canada, thanks in part to the country's success at the 2003 Women's World Cup, where the North American country reached the semi-finals.

The country has previously hosted the 2007 Under-20 Men's World Cup and the 1987 Under-16 World Cup.

The last Women's World Cup, held in Germany last year, set a global television audience record as Japan (pictured above) beat the United States on penalties in a thrilling finale.

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