Glen Aldi, donned on a team Canada soccer jersey and held a 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup replica ball on Wednesday at Eurosport in Red Deer. Aldi, a Penhold resident and a soccer fan, is excited Canada will host the 2026 World Cup along with U.S. and Mexico. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Central Albertans buzzing with joy over FIFA World Cup in Alberta in 2026

Canada, U.S., and Mexico scored the World Cup bid for 2026

Central Alberta soccer fans are buzzing with excitement at the chance to see one of the most-watched sporting events in the world so close to home.

Canada will co-host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 with the United States and Mexico, it was announced on Wednesday.

Potential host cities include Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto.

Kevin Clark, a coach for the U11 Red Deer Renegades team in the Central Alberta Soccer League, said his soccer crazy family would love to catch some action-packed games in Edmonton.

“In 2026 the excitement level in the country is going to be something we haven’t experienced before, obviously hockey is on a different level, but soccer will get there as well,” said Clark.

The Red Deer resident, originally from England, moved to Canada about 11 years ago. The soccer fan has seen many live soccer in England, but not too many in Canada. The family will also catch the World Cup games in Russia on TV, which starts Thursday.

Clark said soccer is a growing sport in Canada and by the time 2026 comes around, the love for the game will grow even more – especially among the youth.

Paul Morigeau, a former president of the Red Deer City Soccer Association, echoed Clark’s thoughts. He said the sporting event will inspire young players.

“It’s something they can see first hand, even kids who are in minor soccer right now – in eight years – can be on the Canadian National team,” said Morigeau.

Like Clark, he plans to catch the live games as well.

“It’s just up the road in Edmonton so I’ll be there. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said the Red Deerian.

Penhold resident Glen Aldi said the news is “awesome for the soccer (community) in Canada.”

“It will be really something else to have it here in Canada, for all our cities,” said Aldi.

Like Clark and Morigeau, Aldi believes the World Cup will inspire young soccer players all over the country.

“They can literally see it – it will be on Canadian soil – hopefully the Canadian team will be part of it,” said Aldi, a referee for the Central Alberta Men’s Soccer League.

Both Clark and Aldi agreed it will be easier and less expensive for families to purchase game tickets.

“Hopefully having it in our own backyard will generate a lot of interest,” said Aldi, managing partner at Eurosport in Red Deer.

Clark said tickets to soccer games are “inflated” in countries like the U.K., much like the case with hockey in Canada. His hope is ticket prices remain “family-friendly” when FIFA comes to Canada.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sasktachewan pup, who has extensive burns, makes her way to Red Deer

Donations accepted for Phoenix who has third degree burns on her body

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

One airlifted to hospital after avalanche on glacier in Yoho National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says it has responded to an… Continue reading

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault will visit flood-damaged regions north of… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

‘The Curse of La Llorona’ reigns over weekend box office

LOS ANGELES — “The Curse of La Llorona” (yuh-ROH’-nuh) had only good… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

President attends Easter service following slew of tweets

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is using Easter morning to… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds… Continue reading

Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western… Continue reading

Soldiers deploy across Quebec after flood-caused sinkhole claims woman’s life

MONTREAL — Canadian Armed Forces are deploying in three regions across Quebec,… Continue reading

Most Read