Conmebol and Colombian FA question Fifa’s Women’s World Cup report

Players from USA lift the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy following victory over the Netherlands (Photo by Naomi Baker - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) and the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) have written to Fifa over what they deem “erroneous and discriminatory conclusions” outlined in the report on the country’s bid to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

Last week, Fifa, football’s global governing body, released its evaluation report assessing the three bids for the Women’s World Cup. Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid scored highest at 4.1 out of five, while Japan scored 3.9 and Colombia scored 2.8.

Fifa, which is set to announce the winning bid on June 25, said it marks the “most competitive” bidding process in the history of the tournament, which has never been held in South America.

The evaluation report raised questions over the financial backing of Colombia’s bid, stating that it would need “a significant amount of investment and support from both local stakeholders and Fifa in order to elevate organisational conditions to those of the other two bids”.

Conmebol and the FCF have now taken issue with the sources Fifa used to reach the conclusions it did.

A letter signed by Conmebol president Alejandro Domínguez and CFC counterpart Ramón Jesurún, which was reported by Reuters, read: “In the document, Fifa’s administration draws some erroneous and discriminatory conclusions on three aspects of vital importance for the score of our candidacy.

“The ‘terrorism’ alluded to with regrettable lightness by the technical report has not existed for a long time. Colombia today, lives in a time of stability and social peace, fruits of the efforts and maturity of its people.

“It denotes ignorance in relation to Colombia’s situation, and a lack of interest in carrying out, at least, minimal research of the situation in which this country finds itself currently.”

The letter also questioned the report’s “offensive” assessment of Colombia’s medical services, adding: “The best hospitals in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali are among the most advanced in South America, according to the prestigious ranking of AméricaEconomía. Moreover, they are recognised for receiving serious cases from abroad.”

Fifa’s report said that the Australia and New Zealand bid presented “the most commercially favourable proposition”, while Japan was commended for its high-quality venues and infrastructure.

Ahead of the release of the report, Brazil withdrew its bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, citing the financial impacts of Covid-19. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said it would be supporting South American neighbour Colombia’s bid to host the competition.

The 2023 World Cup will be the first edition of the tournament to feature 32 teams.