Safa scores own goal

2014-11-30 19:30

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The SA Football Association (Safa) appears to have scored an own goal by forgetting to bid for two Fifa Women’s World Cups.

City Press has learnt that Safa missed the deadline to submit bid documents for the 2018 Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup. Bidding closed at the end of October.

According to a Safa staffer familiar with the circumstances, the association failed to submit bid documents for the two events despite the association rejecting Fifa’s offer to host the 2016 Fifa Women’s Under-20 World Cup in favour of the two.

South Africa was awarded the hosting rights by Fifa at a meeting last December.

The insider said Safa only realised after the deadline had passed that they did not submit the bid documents.

But Safa denied this, saying it never had any intention to bid. This flies against what Safa CEO Dennis Mumble told City Press last week – that the idea of hosting two tournaments appealed to the association, hence the decision to forgo the 2016 one.

Mumble made an about-turn to last week’s statement when he confirmed the association’s interest.

Up until October 31, Fifa’s website listed South Africa as one of the countries in the running to host the two events.

“The championship is currently in the bidding process with France, South Korea and South Africa as the final host contesters,” the website stated.

Fifa later confirmed that France and South Korea were the two remaining contenders after “submitting their bid documents”.

In a written response, Mumble said they were fully aware of the bidding process and the closing dates.

“Safa did not bid for these two events for reasons you know full well. We refer you to the press release of the Honourable Minister of Sport dated October 17 2014. Government’s view was that the country was suffering from bidding fatigue and would no longer support these big events without careful consideration.

“The government’s strategic objective is to secure the Commonwealth Games and, thereafter, the Olympic Games, and Safa supports that approach,” said Mumble.

But he said Safa will not preclude bidding for other events in the future.

Bidding timeline

April 15 2014: Deadline for member associations to declare their interest in hosting one or more of the Fifa Women’s World Cups in 2018 and 2019.

April 30 2014: Fifa to send out the bidding and hosting documents to member associations that have declared interest.

May 19 2014: Fifa announces that “five countries have declared an interest in hosting the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2019, namely England, France, Korea Republic, New Zealand and South Africa”.

June 15 2014: Deadline for the member associations to reconfirm their interest by submitting the signed bidding terms and conditions.

June 16 2014: SA withdraws from hosting the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016. Safa president Danny Jordaan says this is based on the Fifa executive’s decision to link the Under-20 tournament and the senior World Cup finals.

October 31 2014: Deadline for the member associations to submit the definitive bid, including all signed bidding and hosting documents.

March 2015: Appointment of 2018 and 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup hosts by the Fifa executive committee.

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