Postcard from... Toronto


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The Independent Online

Canada has not sent a team to the World Cup in a generation. But that hasn’t stopped Canadians from going a little World Cup crazy.

The country’s national team ranks 110th in the world – tied with Bahrain – but its fierce love for the beautiful game has been on display for all the world to see in Brazil. Fifa say Canadians bought more than 29,000 tickets to World Cup matches, outranking all other non-qualifying nations and behind only 10 countries that did. Canada was also the top non-competing nation in attendance at the 2010 event.

It should be no surprise that Canadians are wild about the World Cup. One in every five is born in another country. That multi-ethnic society and the national team’s struggles make it easy for fans of any nation to enjoy the tournament. “Where else in the world can you go to bars to watch every game and have people from the competing countries cheering on their team?” said British-born Scott Parr, 30, who delayed a vacation to Australia so he could watch the games in Toronto.

“The day Canada makes it back to the World Cup, will be a beautiful day for the country,” said Canadian-born, Trinidadian-bred Paul-Anthony Perez, 31. “But until then, we’ll still come out to watch the games and root for our ‘home’ teams.” AP