FIFA is standing by its technical evaluation of Colombia’s bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
It has now told the country’s unhappy football chief that the assessment was conducted in a “highly objective” manner.
Colombian Football Federation president Ramon Jesurun wrote to FIFA last week, along with South American Football Confederation president Alejandro Dominguez.
They had complained of “erroneous and discriminatory conclusions” in the world football governing body’s report on the bid.
The Colombian proposal to bring the tournament to South America for the first time received the lowest score among FIFA’s evaluation of the three bids to host the tournament.
The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand was rated 4.1 out of five in the report, Japan was awarded 3.9 but Colombia scored only 2.8 ahead of next Thursday’s vote.
In a four-page letter, FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura replied that “all steps were taken to conduct the evaluation in a highly objective manner.”
“I am confident that the evaluation process which FIFA has conducted has adhered to the key principles of objectivity, vision, transparency, commitment to human rights and sustainability,” said the letter which was copied to members of the FIFA Council.
In response to a claim that FIFA’s evaluation had cast doubt over the security situation in Colombia, Samoura recognised that there had been improvements.
But she also said that “all sources reviewed by experts indicated an elevated level of risk” compared to other bids.
In terms of health and medical facilities, she said that “a medium level of risk was deemed appropriate” and that serious conditions may require international evacuation.
She said the altitude of Bogota —– 2,644 metres —– was among the factors taken into account.
From a commercial point of view, Samoura said the forecast revenues from a tournament in Colombia were “modest”.
She added that the projected ticketing revenue of 22.4 million dollars was significantly lower than the previous tournament in France in 2019.(Reuters/NAN)