Toronto mayor lays out FIFA oversight and advisory groups amid cost overrun concerns

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow is outlining new oversight and advisory groups for the city’s efforts to co−host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The city is set to host six matches as part of the international tournament that will also see games in Vancouver as well as across the United States and Mexico.

Toronto has estimated the event will cost the city $380 million, an increase of $80 million compared to a 2022 forecast.

In a letter sent to city council, Chow says Toronto must strengthen its resolve to make the event a success "not only financially, but in the strong and lasting connections it builds across communities."

She says that’s why she is "strengthening and clarifying" the structure and mandate of some organizational bodies involved in planning the event.

Chow says the city will be expanding its executive steering committee that provides leadership and oversight to the FWC26 Toronto Secretariat –she will be serving as chair.

The advisory body was started in 2020 and will now include several members of city council along with provincial, federal and Indigenous representatives and partners.

Chow says there will also be three subcommittees, including a Champions Table to raise money through donations to offset event costs, an FWC26 Forever group tasked with event promotion, community outreach and economic development, and a FWC26 Subcommittee to review spending plans and expenditures.

The mayor says finances related to the World Cup will be reported separately from other city budgets in an effort to ensure transparency.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press