Lee Kormish is prepared for an journey of a lifetime.
Not solely is the Saskatchewan superfan lastly capable of watch Canada compete within the World Cup, he is additionally chasing his personal Guinness World Record.
“It’s not straightforward and it is work, however I freaking adore it,” Kormish, 44, mentioned from the airport in Doha, Qatar, the place he was ready to select up a crew of Canadian followers.
As the Canadian males’s soccer group marks its first look on the world stage since 1986, Kormish is trying to interrupt the record for essentially the most attended matches at a single FIFA World Cup.
The title is presently held by South African fan Thulani Ngcobo, who went to 31 video games in 2010. Kormish, if all issues go in keeping with plan, is about to attend 41 matches.
“The logistics are actually insane to attempt to break this record,” Kormish mentioned.
Kormish has been planning for the record-breaking try for greater than a 12 months from his dwelling in Saskatoon. He’s even been involved with Ngcobo, who gave him help and recommendation.
Kormish will want time to get to every recreation unfold throughout eight stadiums. He additionally wants two witnesses at each recreation to sign that he was in his seat for the whole lot of recreation play, which suggests no lavatory breaks whereas gamers are on the pitch.
The hardest half was truly getting tickets, Kormish mentioned. But he is had follow.
Kormish has been to 4 earlier World Cups, in addition to the UEFA European Championships and the Arab Cup in Qatar final 12 months.
Soccer fandom has been pulsing by his veins since he dropped his baseball glove to kick a ball as a teen, he mentioned. He’s watched the Canadian group battle time after time, however at all times held onto hope.
“I’ve been ready for this my entire life and I’ve been so passionate,” Kormish mentioned. “We’ve had so many darkish occasions.”
Canada was a win away from qualifying in 1994 earlier than many years of downward spirals. Canada did not even make it into the ultimate spherical for 5 World Cup cycles.
Kormish mentioned he confirmed as much as earlier World Cups with a Canadian flag and different followers from all over the world instructed him: “Canada, you guys play hockey proper?”
But that is all modified, Kormish mentioned, particularly since John Herdman took on teaching duties for the Canadian males’s group.
“This man is just not taking something calmly,” Kormish mentioned. “Canada got here to play.”
Kormish was capable of watch Canada win 2-1 over Japan in a global pleasant match on Thursday in Dubai. There had been already quite a lot of excited Canadians within the stands, and Kormish mentioned his feelings took over.
“Words cannot clarify,” he mentioned. “The shivers down the backbone, simply the shivers take over your complete physique.”
Doha has been reworked right into a soccer fan’s dream, with banners, posters, soccer balls and light-weight projections of the match’s largest gamers all over the place within the capital, Kormish mentioned. Fans from all over the world have begun trickling in and the thrill is palpable, he added.
While Kormish plans to attend a slew of video games, he mentioned those that can imply essentially the most are when Canada is taking part in. The group faces Belgium on Wednesday.
Those video games are his “coronary heart and soul,” Kormish mentioned.
“How cool is that? That Canada is right here at the time a Canadian is going to interrupt the Guinness record.”