FIFA and city cash come to Montreal-North

By Joel Ceausu

Montreal-North received some visitors from Brazil, Costa Rica, Spain and South Korea on Monday, as representatives of the national teams participating in the Women’s World Cup in Canada next year toured St. Laurent Park.

Twenty-four national teams in six groups will participate in the tournament, facing off in Moncton, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal. The soccer field at St. Laurent Park was chosen by FIFA as an official training site for teams based in Montreal.

“We are honored to welcome the world’s best soccer players on the field where our best local teams have evolved,” said a clearly pleased borough Mayor Gilles Deguire. “Soccer is growing in Montreal North and the presence of these top teams will certainly help enhance the popularity of the sport, especially among girls.”

Despite increased cutbacks throughout the city and reductions in transfers to some boroughs, the centre city has found the cash to pick up the $639,000 tab to replace the park’s synthetic surface and ensure compliance with FIFA standards.

Twenty-four teams are participating in the Women’s World Cup, Canada 2015 from June 6-July 5, 2015. They will play 52 matches, nine of them at the Olympic Stadium: six in the preliminary round, the final eight games on June 21 and a quarter-final and a semi-final.

Canada will play in Group A with China, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
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