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In Canada Government announces support for continental World Cup bid

North America and Morocco are the only declared candidates so far vying to host the sporting event that is expected to be watched by billions of fans around the world.

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Canadian fans celebrate Canada's 3-0 win over Cuba in their FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at BMO field in Toronto, Ontario, October 12, 2012 play

Canadian fans celebrate Canada's 3-0 win over Cuba in their FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at BMO field in Toronto, Ontario, October 12, 2012

(AFP/File)

The Canadian government announced Tuesday its "support-in-principle" for a trilateral bid to host the 2026 World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

North America and Morocco are the only declared candidates so far vying to host the sporting event that is expected to be watched by billions of fans around the world.

If North America is picked to host the matches, Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan said Ottawa will provide up to Can$5 million to support the continued development of the event.

"As the only G7 country to have not hosted the men's competition, we are more than ready to welcome the world along with our neighbours in Mexico and the United States," said Steven Reed, head of Canada Soccer and co-chair of the united bid committee.

The 2026 competition will bring together for the first time 48 teams, up from 32 in 2018 and 2022.

The winning bid will be announced on June 13, at the start of the next World Cup in Russia. In another first, all 211 FIFA federations will have a say in the decision, which was previously made by the FIFA council.

At the end of December, Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, said he felt that this joint bid sent a "positive message."

FIFA, he added, has "no right to impose heavy burdens on a single country if an event can be organized in more than one."

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