Edmonton named one of six host cities for FIFA Women's World Cup 2015
Published Friday, May 4, 2012 5:49PM MDT
On Friday in Ottawa, officials with international soccer association FIFA named Edmonton alongside five other cities that will host games for the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 – the largest single sporting event for women.
Edmonton's city manager Simon Farbrother was the first to receive a soccer ball and banner from the president of FIFA.
Farbrother said he was confident the capital of Alberta would be named a host city for the World Cup, thinking back to the city's performance hosting other high-profile soccer games in the past.
"Canada holds the attendance record for a youth game, which was at Commonwealth Stadium," Farbrother said. "People remember those games and the quality of support that Edmonton gave to them."
Back in 2002, Edmonton played host to the FIFA U-19 women's world championship game between Canada and the United States, with just less than 50,000 fans taking in the match.
The other cities who will share hosting duties for the 2015 women's World Cup are: Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Moncton.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the 2015 World Cup in Canada has already made history, as it will be the first tournament to feature 24 countries, up from 16 – meeting for 52 matches, whereas before the teams met for 32 games.
The Women's World Cup will kick off in June 2015, and games will be played at Commonwealth Stadium, B.C. Place in Vancouver, Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Moncton Stadium, the revamped Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, and a football stadium currently under construction in Winnipeg.
The Canadian Soccer Association is expected to decision on which games will be played in each location in early 2013.
The federal government has committed to spend up to $15 million on the tournament.
With files from Susan Amerongen and The Canadian Press