Home Uncategorized Canada and Zimbabwe in the running for 2015: A bad sign for women’s soccer

Canada and Zimbabwe in the running for 2015: A bad sign for women’s soccer

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Canada will compete against Zimbabwe for the right to host the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and the U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2014. FIFA announced Monday that the Canadian Soccer Association and Zimbabwe’s football federation were the two countries committed to sending official bid books to Switzerland by the Feb. 11 deadline. FIFA will vote on a host March 2-3. The pro is that Canada heads into the vote as the clear favourite. Australia was rumoured to have been submitting a bid, but it is clear that country’s focus is the 2015 Asian Cup. But, the fact that just two countries — one of which is a nation run by Robert Mugabe, a despot so internationally reviled, that his country has been the subject of sanctions by the EU and the United States — have continued with the bid process for 2015 must be troubling for FIFA. Zimbabwe has been censured for alleged match-fixing. Fact is: The Women’s World Cup still isn’t seen as a prestige event, but is expensive to host. The Canadian government has promised $15 million to help fund the bid. With 24 teams involved and numerous stadiums needed, logistically it’s not much different to stage the WWC in 2015 as it would have been to stage a men’s World Cup pre-1998. More countries (Costa Rica, Ghana, Macedonia, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan) bid to host the U-17 women’s World Cup in 2014. More countries (Chile, Russia, Tunisia and Wales) bid on the 2015 U-17 World Cup (men). More countries (New Zealand, Peru, Tunisia and Wales) bid on the 2015 U-20 World Cup (men). What does it say about the women’s World Cup that the vote should (and with FIFA involved, we can’t say “will”) go to the only serious bidder for the tournament? Despite the fact that the Women’s World Cup in Germany promises to be a glamour event, a new stepping stone in the realm of women’s soccer, the notion of actually bidding for the next one has scared away almost all of FIFA’s membership. It’s great news for Canadian women’s soccer; it’s horrible news for the women’s game, globally.

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