Brazil withdraws bid to host 2023 Women’s World Cup

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil withdrew its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, arguing on Monday it cannot offer FIFA the financial assurances it needs because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Brazilian Football Confederation also said in a statement it will support Colombia’s bid against Japan and the joint candidacy of Australia and New Zealand. South America has never hosted the tournament. A decision is expected on June 25.

The confederation said the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro told FIFA it could not offer financial guarantees “due to the scenario of fiscal and economic austerity, caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The confederation “understands the position of caution of the Brazilian government, and of other public and private partners, which stopped them from formalizing the commitments within time or in the required form,” the statement added.

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Brazil’s economy is expected to contract this year by at least 7.4%, investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts.

The country is the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Latin America, with more than 37,000 confirmed deaths.

Brazil’s soccer body also said the high number of big sporting events in the last decade could also harm the chances of its bid to host the Women’s World Cup.

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