Surrey soccer community hosts World Cup matches in Vancouver – Peace Arch News
Big football matches will fill Ted Hans’ calendar this fall, both at a national championship tournament for the men’s team he coaches and also as a fan watching World Cup games in Qatar. .
On Thursday afternoon (June 16), the Surrey-area soccer coach had something else to cheer about: the news that Vancouver will host World Cup games at BC Place Stadium in 2026.
“It’s not every day that World Cup matches are played in your own backyard, so it’s very exciting,” Hans said moments after FIFA’s announcement.
“It’s great for the game here, no doubt.”
The 2026 tournament will mark a Canadian first as host of FIFA World Cup matches. The tournament is watched by billions of people around the world.
“This is a unique opportunity to support the tourism sector, shine a spotlight on BC and inspire the next generation of gamers,” the BC government said in a statement.
Whenever tickets go on sale they won’t be cheap, but Hans said he plans to attend games at BC Place.
“It shows how far Canada has come on the world soccer stage, and especially in Vancouver,” said Hans. “I think we did a good job with the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, and now the world of soccer will be there too. It will be amazing and people will see how beautiful Vancouver is.
A month ago, Hans coached the BB5 United men’s team to another provincial A Cup championship, the Surrey club’s second in recent years. The BC title was won on May 15 after a 3-1 win over FC Vancouver Tigers at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, thanks to goals scored by Nic Morello, Caleb Clarke and Yassin Essa.
With recent tournaments canceled by COVID, the 2022 title is a “back-to-back” provincial win for the team, which won its first Challenge Trophy at the 2019 Toyota National Championships in St. John’s, when the team was known as the from Central City Breakers.
Months later, CCB was renamed BB5 United in honor of deceased teammate Brandon Bassi, who was killed in a car crash in Newton in May 2019, just before the team’s run to a national championship in october.
“It was something that we had been aiming for for a long time, to honor Brandon in this way, as much as possible,” explained Hans. “Having everyone know what BB5 stands for only cements his legacy, that his name will forever be on the provincial cup. And we also won the league, so his name is there too, VMSL being one of the best leagues in Canada. Having BB5 there is special.
“He’s gone but not forgotten,” added Hans, “and we’ve had his dad at every trophy show, and he’ll be flying with us to Toronto for the Nationals as well. Winning this (provincial cup) so close to home, in front of my family and friends, including those from Brandon, was very special.
In October, BB5 United will defend their national championship at a tournament in Vaughan, Ontario.
In November, Hans will fly to Qatar for his first in-person World Cup experience.
“I was lucky enough to get tickets through FIFA, in a lottery,” Hans said. “I was able to get tickets for all three of Canada’s games, so I got to see Morocco, Belgium and Croatia play against Canada. I go there with my wife, and quite a few friends here have also been lucky enough to have games.
For the 2026 World Cup, FIFA has yet to confirm the number of matches to be played in Vancouver, but local officials estimate five.
Estimated costs for planning, organizing and hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup in British Columbia range from $240 million to $260 million.
Toronto was also announced as the host city for 2026, as was Seattle, but Edmonton was left out of the bid. Sixty games are to be played in the United States, including all from the quarter-finals. Canada and Mexico will host 10 matches each. It will be the first World Cup with three co-organizers.
“Obviously I’m excited,” said award-winning coach and senior vice-chairman of Cloverdale-based Surrey United Soccer Club, Spiro Pegios. “But mostly I’m more excited because Canada qualified for the 2022 World Cup, which gives us more credibility for 2026 other than qualifying, because we’re organizing.
“I really believe that the GVRD, the province and the surrounding regions will fully support this,” Pegios added. “Vancouver has always been a home for football and has an excellent track record of hosting world-class events. And lastly, it will spur the continued passion for the game in our youth.