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Canada’s qualification for the next World Cup, 36 years after its participation in the 1986 World Cup, is great news for football in the country. As a former national team, it was a long-awaited moment, which for some time seemed impossible to achieve after so many failures and false starts.

Emotions are running high, people are talking about us everywhere, and a certain respect for Canadian talent has been earned as a result of this monumental achievement. We are looking forward to the final of this qualifying stage, which will take place tonight, and we are also looking forward to the draw that will determine who will face Canada in the group stage of the tournament.

But there is another great news that accompanies this achievement: this participation in the World Cup, will bring money, a lot of money, to Soccer Canada. When a country participates in the World Cup, FIFA gives it an amount to give to all participating countries. Thus, Canada will receive 10 million US dollars for its presence in the tournament, and the money is drawn in particular from the huge television revenues of this event worldwide.

It is clear that this money will go to the Canadian Federation. Why am I talking about it? Let’s compare Canada to the United States. We haven’t been to the World Cup since 1986. The Americans went from 1994 to 2014 before they failed to qualify in 2018. This means that in the last few decades, the US national program may have taken a $50 million discount from FIFA for participating in the World Cup. All of this money greatly helps national programs when it comes to better training of trainers, setting up infrastructure and supporting local associations. It is also a good help if we want to create a professional women’s league…

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After that, there will undoubtedly be additional investors and sponsors who will now participate in Canada, which has become the most attractive brand in men’s football (it was already on the women’s side, Olympic champions).

In short, this cat can help Canada, for both men and women, maintain, and then improve, the standard that got it where it is today. We would be able to solidify projects, or even start others that we couldn’t start because the means weren’t there and we were trying to stay above everything. I am thinking, among other things, of building a National Training Center, an addition that would change the situation in developing and improving the Canadian men’s and women’s teams.

Image source: AFP

And it may not end there: if Canada passes the group stage and makes it to the next rounds, it will receive more money. FIFA provided $400 million to the 32 teams at the 2018 World Cup, including $38 million for tournament champion France. Why have the great football nations managed to stay on top for so long? This is partly due to those funds allowing for better investment in infrastructure and preparedness. Closer to home (in CONCACAF), there is the example of Costa Rica, which has a national position after participating in the World Cup.

A breath of fresh air in Montreal

After the Canadian achievement, another piece of good news emerged this week for Quebec football fans: Gabriel Jervis has been named president of Montreal. We are talking here about a former player in the organization, who will bring back Impact DNA. Oui, le nom actuel du club demeurera, mais l’appellation “Impact” effectuera un certain retour à titre de surnom de l’équipe, tout comme la couleur bleue, qui était au coeur de l’image de l’organisation jusqu’à The last year.

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Gabriel, an ex-teammate I have known for over 25 years, knows the organization well and no doubt has some good connections at The Quebec Company. He would be able to make CF Montreal a unifying element in society again after a period of splitting.

Image credit: PHILIPPE-OLIVIER CONTANT / QMI AGENCY

I am very happy to see him at home. For many of the former members of the club, who felt that we might have turned the page on impact and those who put a stone in the building, I am pleased to see one of their members return to the position of president. It sends a signal that the past is still important within the organization and can once again become a part of its identity. While it seemed like we wanted to erase the old crest from the club’s history, the arrival of Gabriel Jervis shows he is still at his core and that the change of identity is more of an evolution than a break from everything that came before.

With that said, see you next Saturday, when Montreal FC face Cincinnati at 4pm on TVA Sports!

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