Ottawa bids for men's U20 worlds

SHAWN CAYLEY -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

World-class soccer could be coming to the nation's capital a couple of summers from now.

With the 2007 men's under-20 world championship scheduled to be held in Canada, Ottawa is one of eight cities to submit a bid to host a portion of the event.

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Toronto and Edmonton have already been designated to play major hosting roles in the tournament, so the remaining bidders are vying for four host city berths.

Other cities joining Ottawa with letters of intent to host are Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, Que., Sherbrooke, Que., London, Ont., Vancouver and Victoria.

The Ottawa bid is still subject to approval from city council, but has been endorsed by the city's Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee and will be presented to council in a meeting next week.

"The support from the committee was unanimous," said Cyril Leeder, co-chair of TEAM Ottawa-Gatineau, which is involved with the bid.

Leeder is confident council will be just as supportive of the bid.

The tournament features the top 24 under-20 teams in the world and sits second only behind the World Cup in terms of size for a FIFA-sanctioned event.

The tournament kicks off on July 1, 2007 in Toronto, with the bronze- and gold-medal games to be played in either Edmonton or Toronto on July 22.

With 24 teams, and 52 matches, each city will host first-round play, then two will play host to a round of 16 game and the other two will finish up hosting quarter-final matchups.

Should Ottawa be named as a host, games would be played at Frank Clair Stadium.

Canadian Soccer Association officials have scheduled one-hour interview sessions with the bidding cities on May 2 and 3 in Toronto. The winning cities will be announced May 4 in Toronto.


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