English FA's Poor Relations With FIFA Spell End For 2019 Women's World Cup Bid
The FA "has withdrawn its bid" to host the 2019 Women’s World Cup "rather than risk another humiliation at the hands of Fifa," according to Matt Dickinson of the LONDON TIMES. Relations with FIFA are "so strained" that the FA thinks that its campaign "would be doomed to defeat." England "had been one of five countries to submit preliminary bids," along with France, South Korea, New Zealand and South Africa. The FA has established a Women’s Super League and "was keen to host a World Cup for the first time." However, "it reluctantly accepts that it has too many powerful enemies" at FIFA -- notably President Sepp Blatter -- "to have any hope of winning." In the present environment, Blatter "would certainly take against any English bid for a Fifa tournament." FA Chair Greg Dyke "took a public stand against Blatter just before the World Cup in Brazil, joining the chorus of calls for the Fifa president to resign and describing his accusation that the British media is racist as 'offensive'" (LONDON TIMES, 6/23). The BBC reported the decision "has been prompted by a belief that France are strong favourites to win the bid." Another member of the FA board, David Gill, "also backed calls" at the meeting for Blatter to reconsider his intention to stand for re-election. Speaking after the meeting, Blatter reflected that he felt "insulted" by the comments that were made to him (BBC, 6/23).