(ATR) FIFA accepts three bids for hosting the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The FIFA Council will be meeting online to choose the winner on June 25. (FIFA)
Colombia, Japan, and Australia/New Zealand are the finalists for selection by the FIFA Council when it meets online on June 25 to choose the winning candidate.
Brazil dropped out of the running on Monday, with the country’s soccer federation saying the Brazilian government could not offer the required financial guarantees due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brazil says it is now backing the Colombian bid.
Australia/New Zealand and Japan both scored better than Colombia in FIFA’s evaluation report, which was released on Wednesday.
FIFA found that the bid from Down Under “provides a variety of very good options in terms of sporting and general infrastructure” and says it appears “to present the most commercially favorable proposition” based on the strong financial commitments made by both Australia and New Zealand.
The one worry, says the report, is that a joint bid can be “a more complex undertaking” with two countries involved in managing the event.
Japan’s bid won praise for its stadiums and “a very compact tournament footprint with excellent general infrastructure”. FIFA also says the bid is “strong from a commercial standpoint” and likes that Japan has agreed to hold the tournament between early June and early July before the worst of the Japanese summer.
FIFA was less complimentary with Colombia’s bid, saying it provides only the minimum requirements for infrastructure. The report finds that “it is not clear” if the “significant amount of investment and support” needed to bring Colombia’s organizational conditions up to par with the other two bids will be available.
By the numbers, Australia scored 4.1, Japan 3.9 and Colombia 2.8 on a five point scale.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be the ninth edition of the tournament and the first to feature 32 teams, eight more than ever before.
The United States is the two-time defending champion, having won in Canada in 2015 and in France in 2019.
Written by Gerard Farek
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