RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil, to emphasise the legacy value of its World Cup development, will apply to host the women’s finals in 2019 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said in Rio de Janeiro that he had already discussed the possibility with Sepp Blatter, president of world federation FIFA.
Brazil has been one of the international powers in women’s football. They won silver at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008 as well as finishing runners-up in the Women’s World Cup in 2007. Star footballer Marta has been voted FIFA Women’s Player of theYear five times.
The 2015 finals are set for Canada and Japan, world champions in Germany in 2011, have already expressed an interest in playing host in 2019.
That would not deter Brazil, according to Rebelo.
He said: “Right now there is nothing decided about the calendar that far ahead. However, if there should be is strong interest from another country in hosting the finals in 2019 then we would certainly pursue the following competition in 2023.”
Cristiane, Brazil’s leading player after Marta, echoed Rebelo’s enthusiasm.
She said: “Brazil would be a perfect place for FIFA to stage the Women’s World Cup. The commercial success would be guaranteed and there would no problem with crowds. We had crowds of 70,000 attending women’s football matches at the Panamerican Games we staged in Rio in 2007.”
One credibility doubt for Brazil concerns the poor organisation and status of domestic women’s competition. Rebelo said this was being addressed by the revival of a women’s championship this year for the first time since 2001. It will be played between 20 clubs in 13 venues between September 1 and December 1.
The government-owned bank Caixa Econômica Federal will be main sponsor for around $4.4m.
** Brazil’s Senate has ratified legislation limiting presidents of sporting confederations which receive public funding to a maximum of two terms in office. The bill, which need only be signed into law by President Dilma Rousseff, also obliges the federations to publish their annual accounts and include athletes in the decision-making process.
Approving sports stars present in the senate to see the final vote included tennis champion Gustavo Kuerten, 1994 World Cup winners Rai and Mauro Silva as well as Popo, a former world champion boxer.
It is unclear how this would affect directors already in office such as Carlos Nuzman, an IOC member who has been president of the national Olympic committee since 1995.