With the growing popularity of soccer in the US and Canada, the two nations have been looked at to host the 2024 Copa América after Ecuador rejected the possibility of hosting the competition. This would come at an appropriate time for the two North American countries, as they, along with Mexico, are scheduled to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Hosting a competition with the scale of the Copa América would serve as good practice for their hosting of the 2026 World Cup.
Canada and USA showed that they are nations to be taken more seriously on world football’s biggest international stage. The USA made it through the groups, only to be knocked out by a very strong Netherlands team, while Canada put up some fantastic performances, yet a shaky defence lead them to be knocked out in the group stage. North America is beginning to enter the world footballing fray with more seriousness, which leads many to believe that they should be in the running to host more competitions.
Why did Ecuador reject hosting the Copa América?
As has been seen with previous World Cup competitions in the past, many countries jump at the opportunity to host a major football tournament. In South Africa, stadiums were built, which led to the creation of jobs, and increased tourism. Why, then, would Ecuador reject the opportunity to host the Copa América?
According to the18.com, the president of the Ecuador Football Federation, Francisco Egas explained that Ecuador’s current violence issue, as well as their lack of proper infrastructure meant that hosting the tournament would be impossible.
Do the US and Canada have the facilities?
As it stands, there are 29 MLS teams operating within the US and Canada. 26 of them are based in the US, and, and three of them are based in Canada. The stadiums vary in the number of people they can hold, from 18,000, to 71,000.
If one were to take the World cup in Qatar as an example, all 64 games were played in a total of 8 stadiums, showing that the US and Canada certainly have the ability to host a major footballing tournament. Most stadiums in Qatar have capacity of around 40,000, with one stadium having 60,000 capacity, and the biggest having 80,000.
With these facts in mind, the US and Canada definitely have the adequate facilities. Canada may have fewer facilities to choose from, but the recent change in legal sports betting, and the arrival of the business of 30 betting sites in Ontario, may lead to enough income to be generated to develop more stadiums.
Hosting’s one thing, but will US and Canada compete in Copa América?
Aside from just hosting the 2024 Copa América, Canada, and the US are also in talks to play in the competition, along with Mexico. The idea behind the push to play in the Copa América, is to raise the standard of competition for the nations that will be looking to host the 2026 World Cup. These same nations which will subsequently be hosting the 2024 Copa América (barring Mexico).