“I didn’t need this World Cup. I don’t know if I wanted it, either. »

2022 has been a pivotal year for John Herdman. But not just sportingly, nor positively. Far from there.

The former coach of the Canadian men’s soccer team spoke to the CBC Player’s Own Voice podcast. He reveals that after the maple leaf qualified for the World Cup in March 2022, his sister committed suicide.

“It hurt, really hurt,” he said, his eyes watering. It lasted for a while. I’ve never had pain like this. »

“I have always been the one who takes care of everything in my family. And I couldn’t take care of this. After qualifying for the World Cup, I was at my highest. Then I had the worst experience of my life. »

He said he had “a decision” to make in the summer of 2022, whether to leave the selection at that time, also putting an end to his participation in the World Cup.

“I went against my instincts. I shouldn’t have gone there. »

Herdman finally left Canada Soccer last August. He is now the head coach of Toronto FC in MLS.

According to him, the organization “wasn’t ready” for this World Cup. In particular, he refers to the two friendly matches canceled in June 2022, against Iran and Panama. The cancellation of the match against Panama was made following a financial conflict between the players and the federation.

“When you see what happened in June, “me” had already taken over. “The ‘we’ had become the ‘me’.”

Canada lost its three matches at the World Cup.

“I didn’t need it,” Herdman said. I felt like after qualifying, my job was done. »