The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has been successful in its bid to host the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The announcement was made today at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, by FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter following the FIFA Executive Committee meeting.
“We would like to thank FIFA for entrusting the Canadian Soccer Association with this prestigious event,” commented CSA president Dr. Dominic Maestracci. "We are committed to the growth of women’s soccer both in Canada and internationally, and anticipate that this event will be another successful FIFA competition that will have a lasting impact on the sport in this country.”
The Women’s World Cup is hosted every four years, with the next event scheduled for this summer in Germany. For 2015, the tournament will expand from 16 to 24 participating countries and from 32 to 52 matches. As it is the new practice, the Women’s World Cup host nation will also host the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in the preceding year, so both the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup and 2015 Women’s World Cup have been awarded to Canada.
"It's a great day for soccer in Canada," Vancouver Whitecaps FC women's team head coach Hubert Busby Jr. said of today's announcement. "FIFA probably looked at how great of a job Vancouver did during last year's Winter Olympics, and how exciting of a time it is for professional soccer in this country at the moment. We've also got a very strong women's national team program right now, so FIFA obviously felt it was the right time to award the Women's World Cup to what is an up-and-coming soccer nation in Canada."
In November 2010, the CSA welcomed participants to bid information sessions to provide information for potential host cities of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. In total, seven candidate bid cities were able to commit to being included within the bid submission: Vancouver, BC; Edmonton, AB; Winnipeg, MB; Ottawa, ON; Montréal, QC; Halifax, NS; and Moncton, NB. The CSA formally submitted its bid book to FIFA on February 11, 2011, after working closely with all levels of government and the candidate bid cities to prepare the bid documents.
The CSA will now work closely with the candidate bid cities over the coming months to prepare for FIFA’s initial site inspections, which are expected to occur in the fall. Official host cities will be announced some time following the site inspections after a thorough review by FIFA.
“The successful bid would not have been possible without support from all levels of government and we wish to express our sincere appreciation for the role that they have played in our successful bid,” acknowledged Canadian Soccer Association general secretary Peter Montopoli. “In particular, the Government of Canada has been a key partner from the onset of the bid process, along with the respective provincial and municipal governments.”
The CSA has a strong history of hosting FIFA events, starting with the 1987 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Canada has since hosted the inaugural FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2002 and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The record-setting 2007 event attracted close to 1.2 million spectators to the 52 matches and generated an estimated $259 million in economic activity across Canada.
In Canada, roughly 43 per cent of all registered players are women, twice as much as it was eight years ago when Canada hosted the 2002 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Canada has also enjoyed success on the international stage, winning CONCACAF women’s championships in all three-age categories since 2008. Those three titles were the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier (which qualified Canada for its fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup), the 2008 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship, and the 2010 CONCACAF U-17 Women’s U-17 Championship.