November 11 – The general secretary of the Canadian FA, Peter Montopoli, is leaving to become chief operating officer of his country’s co-hosting of the 2026 World Cup with the USA and Mexico.
Montopoli, who will be working for FIFA from December 1, says he is “saddened to be leaving Canada Soccer” as he becomes responsible for overseeing the Canadian section of the tournament.
“It’s been a journey I helped start with [former Canada Soccer president and current CONCACAF president] Victor [Montagliani] five years ago, [in] 2016,” Montopoli told The Canadian Press. “We’re still on the journey together. I’d like to finish off the journey.
“So it’s certainly an opportunity for me but also an opportunity [where] feel I can lend a strong voice for Canada at the table for the FIFA World Cup 2026 with my experiences, contacts, relationships.”
After two years as national event director for the 2007 U-20 World Cup in Canada, Montopoli took over as general secretary in April 2008. The Canadian men were ranked 63rd at the time while the women were ninth. Today the men are No. 48 while the women, current Olympic champions, are sixth.
“It’s been 14 wonderful years, for sure. But I feel like it’s the right time. Hard to leave certainly, but the opportunity was very attractive as well,” said Montopoli. “We’ve done something that maybe 14 years ago people would not have bet on.”
The 2026 World Cup not only has an expanded field of 48 teams, up from 32, but also marks the first time three countries serve as host.
Meanwhile after visiting 17 cities in September and October, FIFA will carry out the third round of its inspection tour of candidate host cities from Nov 17 to 22 with a delegation led by Montagliani, Concacaf President and FIFA Vice-President, visiting Edmonton, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Los Angeles and Toronto.
In a statement FIFA said the person-to-person visits “come after many virtual exchanges over the last two years and will give the opportunity for the FIFA delegation to meet with the candidate host city representatives and local stakeholders to discuss key topics such as venue management, infrastructure and sustainability as well as commercial, legal and legacy matters. “
“The FIFA experts will also inspect essential infrastructure, such as stadiums, training facilities and potential FIFA Fan Festival venues. After the conclusion of the inspection tour, a thorough assessment will follow.”
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