The FIFA World Cup was on show today in Toronto as part of a 51-country tour ahead of Qatar 2022.
Canada, one of 32 World Cup teams, is making its first appearance in the sport’s greatest showcase in 36 years.
The 14.5-inch tall trophy, which weights just over 13 pounds, was on exhibition at Toronto’s BMO Field at Exhibition Place early this afternoon for a sold-out “fan activation” event where among other things there was a VIP reception followed by a fireside chat with football icons.
“I was full of emotions, excitement and joy and tears,” Said former Canadian football team star Dwayne De Rosario.
“I can remember watching guys like Maradona and Pele, and these players lift this trophy, and it’s like, ‘Wow, you’re right there.’ It’s a dream come true.”
The U.S., Canada and Mexico will host the World Cup in 2026. De Rosario said it’s an important symbol that carries meaning beyond the field.
“It’s a trophy that unites the world. It brings the world together. Every nation, every continent, every country is involved in football in some capacity,” he said.
“To know that it’s coming to our city, it’s far beyond the sport. It’s going to create history, it’s going to create culture.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory, also on hand for the unveiling of the trophy, said he’s excited about Canada’s participation at the World Cup this year.
He added he is looking ahead to 2026, when Toronto will be among the host cities. A big international spectacle such as the World Cup will do a lot for the city economically and will mean jobs, he said.