Montopoli To Leave Canada Soccer For FIFA

William Manwaring - 12 Nov 2021

Canada Soccer general secretary Peter Montopoli has announced he’ll be leaving his role with the organisation at the end of November. Montopoli will soon assume the position of chief operating officer for Canada FIFA World Cup 2026.

This means Montopoli will be employed by the world soccer governing body itself while overseeing Canada’s participation in the 2026 World Cup. The event will be co-hosted by Mexico and the US.

Commenting on the move this week, Montopoli told the Canadian Press how this is a journey he had helped launch together with former Canada Soccer president Victor Montagliani back in 2016. He said he’s passionate about bringing to fruition what the pair had started five years ago, while adding that for him personally, the move signals an opportunity to represent a strong voice for Canada around the FIFA World Cup table.

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The Story So Far

Montopoli took over the role as general secretary for Canada Soccer in April of 2008. This was after a two-year stint as national event director for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

At the time, the Canadian men were ranked 63rd and the women 9th. Today, the men’s national side are ranked No. 48, with the women placing 6th. Canada’s women’s national soccer side are an Olympic Games-winning squad.

Montopoli has been playing a leading role especially in women’s World Cup soccer. In 2015, he helped Canada pull off a particularly successful Women’s World Cup.

But while Montopoli spoke of excitement about his new role, he also said he’s saddened by the prospect of leaving his current organisation after 14 “wonderful” years. Even so, he said he feels as though now is the right time to move on to a new opportunity.

2026 His Biggest Project Yet

During his time as general secretary of Canada Soccer, Montopoli also served as chief executive of the national organising committee of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. He said while he had been able to manage both, the 2026 World Cup will be a different kettle of fish because of its size.

On show in 2026 will be an expanded field 48 teams large. This marks an increase of 16 teams. 2026 will also be the first year to see three countries act as official hosts of the tournament.

Canada and Medico will each host 10 games, and the US will host 60.

As for what the future holds beyond 2026, Montopoli said he hadn’t really given too much thought to a time so far ahead. He said being part of a project of such magnitude is good enough for him right now.

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