(WFI) New Zealand’s football association has joined the English FA in withdrawing their bid to host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
New Zealand Football, which expressed interest in staging the tournament in May, said that due diligence indicated the country could not afford to host the competition in addition to the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup. New Zealand is already hosting the men’s U-20 World Cup next year.
“We signalled our interest in May to give ourselves time to investigate the full implications of bringing a tournament of this stature to New Zealand,” said Andy Martin, chief executive of New Zealand Football.
“After making a detailed financial assessment regarding the impact of hosting this major event on the football calendar, we concluded that the 2019 event will come too soon for us.”
Martin added: “We remain keen to consider hosting the Women’s World Cup in the future while we continue our significant investment in the development of the women’s game at both grassroots and elite levels.”
New Zealand and England were among five countries who submitted bids to FIFA last month. France are now the favourites to secure hosting rights. Korea and South Africa are the other bidders.
England dropped its bid earlier this week, with The Times suggesting the English FA’s poor relationship with FIFA was one of the reasons for the decision because the campaign would be “doomed to defeat”.
Two weeks ago, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the Sunday Times allegations about Qatar corruption in the 2022 World Cup bidding race were racist and discriminatory, comments first reported by INSIDER in Sao Paulo.
FA chairman Greg Dyke read a statement out in the presence of Blatter at the UEFA Congress in which he blasted the comments as “offensive” and “completely unacceptable”. In so doing, the FA’s relationship with Blatter and FIFA sunk to a new low.
A statement from English football’s governing body said: “Expressions of interest were lodged to gain a wider understanding of the bidding process, the benefits associated to the tournament and the competition to host the tournaments.
“Having assessed all of these factors The FA will not be furthering its interest in these competitions at this time. The FA remains committed to growing women’s football and continues to invest in the game domestically both at the elite and grassroots level.”
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
Your best source of news about the global football business is World Football INSIDER