• Monday, June 17, 2024

FOOTBALL

Brazil to host 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup

FIFA members opted for Brazil over a joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany

FIFA President Gianni Infantino announces Brazil as the hosts of the 2027 Women’s World Cup during the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok on May 17. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

Brazil will host the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, marking the first time the tournament will be held in South America. The decision was made at a FIFA congress overshadowed by discussions on the conflict in Gaza.

Following the successful hosting of the tournament by Australia and New Zealand last year, FIFA members opted for Brazil over a joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, aiming to broaden the reach of women’s football.

Delegates, convening in Bangkok, voted 119 to 78 in favor of Brazil, prompting celebrations from the Brazilian bid team.

Brazilian Football Confederation President Ednaldo Rodrigues described it as a “victory for Latin American football and for women’s football in Latin America.”

Brazil, renowned for women’s football icon Marta, outscored its European competitor in FIFA’s evaluation report. FIFA inspectors highlighted the potential positive impact of hosting the Women’s World Cup on women’s football in South America.

Brazil’s bid encompasses 10 stadiums used in the 2014 men’s World Cup, with the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro slated to host the opening match and final. However, there is work to be done, notably on the Amazonia stadium in Manaus, which has seen minimal use in the past decade.

Unlike the men’s team, which has won five World Cups, Brazil’s women’s team has never claimed the title and exited in the group stage in 2023.

Last year’s tournament set records, generating £449 million in commercial revenue. Despite expanding the number of teams from 24 to 32, the competition maintained its appeal, attracting over 1.4 million spectators.

However, controversies arose after the final match in Sydney, where Spain defeated England 1-0. Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales faces prosecution for sexual assault after forcibly kissing midfielder Jenni Hermoso during the medal ceremony.

The FIFA congress, held for the first time in Thailand, opted for an open vote to decide the tournament’s location, reflecting FIFA’s efforts to distance itself from past corruption scandals.

As preparations for the Brazil tournament commence, attention turns to the substantial financial gap between men’s and women’s football. Prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup reached a record £86 million, but it still lags far behind the £346 million awarded at the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar.

The congress also addressed calls from the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to suspend Israel from FIFA and bar Israeli teams from FIFA events, alleging violations of FIFA rules and highlighting the situation in Palestine. FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that the organization would seek independent legal advice on the matter and decide on potential actions by July 20.

Additionally, significant changes were approved to FIFA statutes, including the removal of the rule stipulating Zurich as the organization’s headquarters since 1932. The congress also voted to increase the number of committees from seven to 35, with expanded mandates covering various aspects of football, including women’s football, anti-racism efforts, and eSports. Infantino proposed the idea of organizing an under-15 World Cup or festival and a “legends” World Cup.

(AFP)

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