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Butler: FIFA emblem kicks off Canada's countdown to 2015

Noel Butler
12/14/2012 9:53:27 AM
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Close to two years have passed since FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced in Zurich early March 2011 - and after only getting beat out by one of world soccer's true powers Germany last time round - that at the second time of asking Canada would host the 2015 Women's World Cup. 

And with Blatter's bon mots still echoing around FIFA House the Canadian Soccer Association had achieved what no other national sports organization had achieved in our nation's history.

The rights to stage and host Canada's inaugural coast to coast sporting event.

The caliber of the event could not be grander. The very first FIFA Women's World Cup that sees 24 nations competing for the right to call themselves World Champions. A tournament recognized by world football's supreme authority as the single most important women's football event on the planet.

It's easy for FIFA to claim but the evidence is in the global broadcast numbers. For Deutschland 2011 the accumulated global TV Audience surpassed 400 million viewers.

How could we forget the sight of the 2012 Lou Marsh recipient - after having her nose severely fractured late on during the opening match in Berlin with over 70,000 in attendance - return to the pitch just a few days later wearing a mask that surely would have made even Jacques Plante blush.

Friday's unveiling of the official emblem for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 at the outstandingly soccer friendly confines of BC Place represents the culmination of 18-plus months of hard graft for many in attendance.

And it's not just this day that will the focus be Vancouver – as all our six host cities in Moncton, Montréal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton will simultaneously unveil their very own composite logos.

Someone who has been working her soccer socks off this year in this a record revenue year is the CSA's Director of Business Development Sandra Gage, who spoke with TSN.ca just ahead of last night's final rehearsal.

Not the boastful type (instead just as corporate Canada begins embedding itself within the football fold), Gage is fully aware her office owes a debt of gratitude to the stars and a very ample supporting cast for our best sports story of 2012.

'There had been an increased interest for the sport heading into London," she said. "And with the success of the team combined with all the excitement around the men and all their efforts, all those home matches we were playing in Canada there was just a lot of visibility for both programs."

"With the success our women had it pushed people over the goal line so to speak for wanting to be involved with the sport of soccer."

And with this special day comes the unveiling of the official emblem. At some point next year in your favorite store you will see the roll out of the official merchandise for FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015.

"We are working with FIFA on that because that's largely an effort we are coordinating with them," said Gage. "Currently we are determining when exactly items will be available. We are very much hoping for some time during 2013." Gage disclosed.

Meanwhile, the majority of our Olympians have joined with our most promising football future for the final training camp of 2012.

For head coach John Herdman, this signifies the kickoff to assessing the 2015 talent at his disposal for a tournament that – after the ceremonies - is officially amidst one of world football's most vibrant of developing football nations.
 
"I'm sitting writing the plans," he said. "When you start breaking it down you just start realizing the 2015 World Cup is just around the corner - like you're running out of time.

"I think this official launch and all the young girls will be there, our Olympians will be there they are going to get to witness this. It's going to light a few fires and get us going again."

How fitting it is on this day that we close out 2012 - a most extraordinary of seasons in the CSA's centenary - by returning to the scene of the WNT's first significant triumph of the year. When in late January at BC Place, a Christine Sinclair inspired semifinal win over Mexico during the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers ensured Canada's berth at London 2012.
 
As we get set to unveil the official emblem on the road to FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, UEFA announced earlier in the week their preliminary draw will take place next Tuesday.

UEFA's 46 women's football playing nations - including the likes of the London 2012-vanquished French - now recalibrate their football sights on what will undoubtedly be the grandest spectacle ever in the entire history of Women's World Cups.

Don't believe me? Well, next time you bump into Sepp Blatter ask him his thoughts on FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007. It still stands as the marquee tournament in the entire history of Youth World Cups.

Now as we enter this, the most significant of quadrennials ever for one of FIFA's top ranked women's football nations and Canada's newly minted favourite team it's only fitting we leave the footnote to an immensely intellectual football mind so very essential to the London 2012 cause.

The essential part required as what was left in his safekeeping a little over a year ago were the shoddy leftover Deutschland 2011 psychologically bankrupt goods dumped so unceremoniously by previous coach Carolina Morace – an individual who our girls were willing to go on strike for just a short while ago in February 2011.

We've seen the future and it is FIFA World Cup Canada 2015. That moment, when yet again we swing open our 'Welcome' and 'Bienvenue' signs to the world

"As a country, I don't think we know what's going to hit us in less than three years time."

A special live broadcast of the official emblem unveiling of the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 will be broadcast on TSN today at 2pm et/11am pt. Live streaming is available at TSN.ca.

Noel Butler

Noel Butler


Noel Butler is an analyst for TSN's soccer coverage and his blog can be read on TSN.ca. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/TheSoccerNoel and listen to his radio program oranges@halftime on TSN Radio 690 Montreal.

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