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Brazil pulls out of 2023 Women’s World Cup race

The Asia-Pacific region could host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup after Brazil withdrew its candidacy, boosting the chances of Japan and Australia and New Zealand’s combined bid.

The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement on its website that due to economic and fiscal austerity, fueled by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country would be unable to commit to signing Fifa’s relevant guarantees. In March this year the confederation reported record revenues of R$957m (€169.9m/$185.9m) for the 2019 financial year.

The CBF said in its statement it would now put its support behind South American neighbour Colombia to host the competition. Fifa is due to announce the winner on June 25.

Among the three remaining contenders the Australian and New Zealand combined bid could be boosted by the recent moves in both countries to allow spectators back into sporting arenas.

The management of the Covid-19 pandemic by the Australian and New Zealand governments has been recognized as among the best globally, with New Zealand yesterday dropping its Covid-19 warning to alert level 1 allowing mass gatherings to take place. And no senior men’s or women’s Fifa tournament has ever been held in either country.

Japan, Women’s World Cup winners in 2011, will host the postponed 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in 2021 but is already facing financial stress and ongoing worries over the eradication of the Covid-19 virus in time for the games.