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Canadian Soccer Association will bid for the 2026 World Cup

Jan 23, 2014, 1:59 PM EST

Gregor Balazic, Dwayne De Rosario AP

The Canada men have played in one World Cup, back in 1986, and the nation’s got a plan to guarantee its participation in at least one of their next three chances.

The United States’ northern neighbors unveiled their strategic soccer plan for the years 2014-18, and it involves going hard at hosting the 2026 World Cup. This has been rumored for a few months, but today’s report finds it quite official.

The plan, called “Leading A Soccer Nation,” involves implementing such seemingly basic elements such as developing a national database for youth players and “mandating technical development.”

“We’re the only G-8 nation to not host the World Cup,” said CSA president Victor Montagliani. “We’ve hosted almost every other event … I think it’s time for Canada to step up to the plate.”

North American mates Mexico are also planning to bid for the tournament and have discussed co-hosting with the United States. Colombia also is planning a bid and USSF president Sunil Gulati said the States would consider bidding if the process was more open and fair. Wales is also interested.

Canada hired 61-year-old Spanish manager Benito Florio to take over their men’s senior team in August. He’ll look to find honors for the squad, which has just two CONCACAF championships to show for itself, and none since 2000. They haven’t escaped group play of the Gold Cup in their last two tries and were ousted before the Hexagonal in 2014 World Cup qualifying, finishing one point behind advancing Honduras and Panama in Group C.

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