The News Limited tabloids exclusively – and somewhat breathlessly with their enthusiasm and presentation of facts and figures – reported this morning that the Turnbull government is to support an Australian bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The formal announcement will be made today by Turnbull, Sports Minister Greg Hunt and Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash. 

No-one is against Australia hosting the Women’s World Cup. It would be akin to not liking Bambi. 

And let’s forget the fact – for this moment – that Australia withdrew from its bid to host the 2011 Women’s World Cup in 2007. They did this as part of a deal with Germany. 

FFA said at the time that it was because it was ‘not economic’ to bid for the Women’s World Cup as there wouldn’t be sufficient international visitors to make it worthwhile. It wasn’t a very logical alternative reason. After all, it was ‘economic’ to be the sole bidder for the 2015 Asian Cup with precisely the same number of team entrants and venue and host city requirements. 

We’ll also ignore the fact that 2011 winners, Japan, signalled their intention to bid for the tournament in December 2013. Japan was once considered an ally of Australia’s in the Asian Football Confederation: this move by Australia will not be welcomed.

Make no mistake, we’d do a great job of hosting the Women’s World Cup. 

It would be a boost for the women’s game. It would improve our chances of winning the tournament by having home support. And it would be a poke in the eye to the other sporting codes trying to create a women’s competition that has meaning. I have long argued that one of our competitive edges in women’s sport is the level of international competition available. All terrific. 

However, to borrow from the Sinatra’s, then they went and spoilt it all by saying something stupid like:

“Our advice is that FIFA has reformed and is committed to an open and transparent bidding process.”

What are they smoking at FFA HQ that they actually ‘advised’ the poor hapless federal government that “FIFA has reformed”? 

And which bureaucrat in the Sports Division of the Department of Health allowed their Minister to say that without some due diligence? Retract as soon as possible!

To assist, we’ve compiled just a handful of English language references in a few moments. There are reams more. And that’s without tapping into other language media, and particularly German media who are really on the case of the fairytale of ‘FIFA reform’.

27 February 2017:  12 months on, what’s changed at FIFA?

4 May 2017: FIFA’s ‘new broom’ not exactly sweeping up the mess

9 May 2017: Departing officials fear FIFA reform is over

13 May 2017:  US World Cup bid moves forward – but did FIFA reform take a step back?

16 May 2017: FIFA struggles to regain trust

22 May 2017: FIFA reforms dead and buried

1 June 2017:  Broadcast bonuses go both ways

Follow @newfifanow for even more if you’re not convinced.

Categories: Opinion | Women | Football Business

women's world cup, women's football, ffa, fifa, governance

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