SA pushes ahead with plans to host Soccer World Cup

Safa acting CEO Russell Paul refused to sign a debt letter.
Safa acting CEO Russell Paul refused to sign a debt letter.

South Africa are going ahead with their bid to host the Women’s World Cup in four years’ time and FIFA have confirmed the country’s bid is among nine still in the race.

It comes as the second deadline for bidding nations passed last week‚ before world football’s governing body FIFA closed for business over Easter.

South African Football Association general secretary Russell Paul confirmed that the required registration papers had been sent to Zurich‚ affirming the country’s intent to continue with the bid for the 2023 event.

“We have dispatched the required paperwork and everything is on course‚” he told TimesLIVE.

The latest deadline was the second in a rapid bidding process that contrasts with the drawn-out and politically complicated processes seen for past‚ mainly men’s‚ World Cups.

For the next women’s World Cup‚ FIFA do not want the host country to build new infrastructure but to use established stadia.

“FIFA have made it clear they don’t want infrastructure expenses around this World Cup. They don’t want stadiums to be built and all sorts of other costs‚” Paul added.

FIFA said Argentina‚ Australia‚ Bolivia‚ Brazil‚ Colombia‚ Japan‚ New Zealand and South Korea (who are planning a joint bid with North Korea) were all still in the race.

“This represents the largest-ever list of member associations to have confirmed their intention to submit a bid for a single tournament in FIFA’s history‚ which further attests to the high levels of interest in hosting the 2023 edition of FIFA’s flagship women’s football tournament‚” said a statement.

“FIFA will now dispatch the various bidding and hosting documents‚ and the member associations will have until 4 October to submit their respective bids to FIFA.

"Before then‚ they will have the opportunity to attend a bid information workshop and observer programme in June during the Women’s World Cup in France."

The final decision on the hosts will be made in March next year by the FIFA Council‚ made up of 37 members‚ in a vote where their individual choices will be made public.

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