Montreal withdraw bid, FIFA plans to finalize 2026 World Cup host cities in 2022

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JULY 15: Antoine Griezmann of France holds the World Cup trophy aloft during the victory celebrations after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Kansas City waits with hopes of being selected as one of the 16 host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, FIFA has provided an update on the timeline and host city candidates.

FIFA has been informed by Canada Soccer of the decision taken by the City of Montreal to withdraw from the venue selection process for the FIFA World Cup 2026™. FIFA would like to thank Montreal for its participation and all local stakeholders involved for their efforts.

FIFA statement

Months earlier, Quebec Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx said the cost of hosting the FIFA World Cup was higher than expected and unjustifiable for use of taxpayer funds.

MLS club CF Montréal released a statement displaying their disappointment in the decision, while also wishing luck to remaining Canadian cities Edmonton and Toronto in the selection process.

In FIFA’s statement on Montreal’s withdrawal, the governing body also updated the schedule for the host city selection process.

The plan is to run venue visits from September to November 2021, with the goal of finalising the selection in Q1/Q2 2022.

FIFA statement

Starting in September, FIFA representatives will hope to make visits to all 22 candidate cities with COVID-19 pandemic regulations in mind.

No immediate timeline is available for when FIFA will be visiting Kansas City, but FIFA said they hope to make their final decision in the first half of 2022.

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