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Volume 7 No. 149
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Australia To Push Ahead With Bid To Host 2023 Women's World Cup

Football Federation Australia is "pushing on" with its bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup despite FIFA's intention to return to a "behind-closed-doors decision" to award hosting rights, according to Vince Rugari of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. It comes as former FFA exec and whistleblower Bonita Mersiades challenged the governing body to show some "dignity" and withdraw from the race altogether in response to the "long-awaited release of FIFA's bidding timeline." More than 200 member associations voted on the 2026 World Cup -- which will be jointly hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico -- and their choices were made public. But the location for the next Women's World Cup will be "settled in private" by the 37-strong FIFA Council, headed by President Gianni Infantino, who will "come to a decision" in March '20. Mersiades said, "If FFA is genuine about its commitment to reform of FIFA into a democratic, transparent and accountable world governing body, they will say, 'Enough is enough' and withdraw from the race" (SMH, 2/20).

JAPAN TO BID: KYODO reported the Japan FA announced Wednesday it will "go forward with a long-planned bid" to host the 2023 Women's World Cup. JFA CEO Kozo Tashima said that in registering its candidacy, the JFA is "following through on a resolution" made by its board of directors in '13. Tashima: "We hope (the bid) can be realized in cooperation with the related ministries and agencies." Prospective bidders have until March 15 to register their interest (KYODO, 2/20).