"British Columbia enjoys a stellar reputation for supporting soccer and hosting major events," said Peter Montopoli, Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary. "We saw the success of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007 and the enthusiastic fan support that propelled the Vancouver Whitecaps FC into Major League Soccer. I can think of no better place for our Women’s National Team to win their way to London."
The newly revitalized BC Place stadium will host the eight participating teams competing in this 15-match event. Canada, Mexico and USA will fight alongside three teams from the Caribbean and two from Central America for the two coveted passes to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament to be held in London, England, in July 2012.
"I’m confident British Columbians will show their enthusiastic support when Canada’s Women’s National Team plays before a home audience for an opportunity to represent our country in the London Olympics," said Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong. "This international tournament will provide a superb opportunity for British Columbians to support our summer athletes."
This marks the third edition of CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament, held every four years since 2004. In 2008, the Canadian team went undefeated before finishing in second place behind CONCACAF champion USA, falling in the championship final on kicks from the penalty mark. Canada still advanced to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament for the first time where it reached the quarter-final stage. Once again, Canada’s nemesis was USA: the Canadians came within an extra-time goal of knocking off the eventual Olympic champions, but had to settle for an eighth-place finish.
In the most recent CONCACAF championship in November 2010, Canada was crowned continental winners ahead of USA (and runner-up Mexico). The four-top teams at the 2010 CONCACAF championship were Canada, Mexico, USA and Costa Rica. Canada and Mexico have both qualified for the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament once while USA has qualified all four times, winning three gold medals and one silver medal.
Canada won gold at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Cancún, Mexico, thus qualifying for a fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup. Canada will take part in the 16-team FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 from 26 June to 17 July. Four years thereafter, Canada will serve as host of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
Canada’s Women’s National Team, whose title sponsor is Winners and presenting sponsor is Teck, is one of the top women’s football programs in the world. The Canadian team was most recently ranked