Canada prepares for its 1st World Cup in 36 years
Canada prepares to celebrate its first-ever World Cup soccer team in 36 years as it celebrates its centennial of country’s independence
The opening ceremony on June 30 in Edmonton was held in a historic building that is now the Centennial Cultural Centre in Edmonton
The World Cup is being held in Russia from July 14 to July 26
HALIFAX — After more than 70 years, Canada will be represented by its first World Cup team in 36 years, when it opens the competition on July 22.
The country, which was a powerhouse in world football from its founding in 1867 up until 1975, has played its only two appearances at soccer’s global sport’s top honour.
“We have such a proud history of representing our country … it has been something we’ve talked about for many years.”
It was a conversation that first led to the idea to stage a World Cup in Canada, and another conversation that pushed to do something special for the centennial of Canadian independence.
So in 1976, the Canadian Soccer Association went into effect, setting up a World Cup tournament for the country’s four major clubs.
The event went by the name “Soccer on the Prairies” and played out over two years, with the final on May 26, 1977, at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.
Canada’s biggest stars, including players like George Best, Joe Clark, Roger Milla, Clint Bowyer and George Gidley, were represented and played in the tournament.
Three years after its first world cup, a second tournament got underway in Italy — the only other country to have played a World Cup.
It was to be hosted by England and was called the “Olympic Tournament of 1970.”
England and the Canadian Soccer Association were able to get together in an effort to bring the tournament to Canada.