Attendance to be halved for Canada’s men’s World Cup qualifier in Hamilton

What was expected to be a crowd of 24,000 for Canada‘s qualifier against the United States on January 30 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton will now be limited to 12,000.

What was expected to be a crowd of 24,000 for Canada’s qualifier against the United States on January 30 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton will now be limited to 12,000.

The match sold out in three hours last month, with Canada Soccer benefiting from the on-field success of John Herdman’s side.

Canada Soccer, following relevant public health guidelines, says it will cancel all tickets sold and offer a new window to purchase tickets for the reduced capacity configuration.

Refunds will be issued to all ticket holders within two to four weeks. All ticket buyers will have the opportunity to purchase tickets through a “dedicated presale window” beginning at 10 a.m. ET on January 25, with Canada Soccer contacting original ticket buyers with details on how to access tickets for reduced capacity. configuration.

A public sale will follow on January 26 at 10 a.m. ET if inventory remains available.

“We prioritize the safety of all players, staff and fans and would like to recognize the diligent and continuous work, not only in recent weeks, but throughout the final round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying. , our partners at all levels of government to ensure we are able to play in front of our home fans,” Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis said in a statement.

All fans attending the game will be required to provide proof of vaccinations and wear masks unless eating or drinking, among other requirements.

The Canadian men drew reported crowds of 48,806 and 44,212 to Edmonton for wins in November over Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively, at Commonwealth Stadium. The match against Mexico was played in a snowy frost.

An October win over Panama drew a capacity crowd at BMO Field in Toronto, with 26,622 available after local officials eased pandemic restrictions.

The Canadian men, ranked 40th (4-0-4, 16 points), currently lead the eight-country CONCACAF final qualifying round, which spans North and Central America and the Caribbean. The 11th-ranked Americans are second (4-1-3, 15 points), followed by Mexico (14th) and Panama (63rd) (both 4-2-2, 14 points).

In March, the top three teams will book tickets to Qatar 2022. The fourth-placed country will face a team from Oceania in an intercontinental qualifier to see who will join them.

Hamilton’s game, a first for the Canadian men, is sandwiched between away games at 76th Honduras on Jan. 27 and 70th El Salvador on Feb. 2.

Canada tied the United States 1-1 when they met in September’s World Cup qualifier in Nashville. Prior to that, the Americans cruised to a 1-0 win in July at the Gold Cup in Kansas City, clinging to victory after scoring 20 seconds behind.

The Canadian men recorded a famous 2-0 win over the Americans in October 2019 at BMO Field, ending a 34-year, 17-game winless streak against their North American rivals.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 20, 2022

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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