2023 Women’s World Cup Vote Creates A Sour Feeling

2023 Women’s World Cup Vote Creates A Sour Feeling
With FIFA awarding the hosting rights of the 2023 Women’s World Cup to both Australia and New Zealand, it shows the game is embarking on a new frontier and one that sees the first ever cross-confederation staging of a major tournament. Usually co-hosts are consigned to the same confederation and previous examples such as Euro 2000 or the 2002 World Cup have shown that although there may be some headaches in the planning phase, the tournaments themselves have been a huge success.

While with Australia sitting under the governance of the AFC and New Zealand flying the flag for Oceania, it means the logistics of hosting such a showpiece event will be carried out across not one but two confederations.

That could have been a red flag in terms of voting preference and although the joint bid quelled any fears regarding the hosting of a duel-nation tournament, the vote itself has since come under the spotlight.

Due to Japan’s bidding team pulling out of the race at the eleventh hour, it was left to two candidates. In the South American corner was the bid from Colombia and in the other, was the Asian/Oceanian offering.

Going into the bidding process itself, voters were armed with a multitude of data and analysis to help sway their decision and the most pertinent piece of information was the ranking within FIFA’s own evaluation process.

An evaluation that saw the Australia/New Zealand bid ranked as one, that was far more impressive than the Colombian offering and that ultimately saw the now hosts, win the day by a total of 22 votes to 13.

However, this evaluation process and the fact that UEFA bloc voted for Colombia has drawn umbrage from the combined winning party and although it has not scuppered any success, it has somewhat dampened their celebrations.

With the evaluation process meant to give a more definitive steer regarding voting and also in place to eliminate a repeat of previous controversies, it does seem as if UEFA have gone against the advice that was dealt out by the game’s global governing body.

Ultimately, it is nothing more than advice, but questions are being asked with the ANZAC camp and the loudest of those, is why UEFA deemed it necessary to vote for a bid that was deemed to be lesser in quality?

One theory that currently looms large, suggests that this will be the first part of reciprocal support between Colombia and UEFA and with Europe lending their voting weight here, they will want the return in the race to host the 2030 Men’s World Cup.

A theory that suggests that UEFA have looked to their own interests further down the line, rather than picking the best candidate for this process and although it did not derail the final outcome, it has once again thrown light on the difficulties surrounding vote collection.

Taking UEFA’S en masse voting out of the equation, it would have meant that Colombia would have received just five votes overall and this in itself, shows that there was little confidence around the world in terms of the South American’s being the most outstanding candidate.

Which is why UEFA’s decision to look to Colombia instead of the Trans-Tasman region has drawn such derision and with the discussion regarding the hosting of the 2030 Men’s World Cup not that far away, Aleksander Ceferin will have to hope his counterparts have rather short memories.

Because when the UEFA chairman looks to plead his continent’s case, and bid to host the post North American offering 10 years from now, he will need to make sure that the noses that have been recently put out of joint, are quickly realigned.

In terms of voting power, UEFA have potentially upset not one but two confederations and who knows, it could be their votes that have the final sway in terms of where the game’s biggest festival calls home next and after this fallout, they will have every right to hold a rather costly grudge.

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