Brazil awarded 2027 Women’s World Cup
text size

Brazil awarded 2027 Women’s World Cup

Fifa Congress in Bangkok also tackles racism, hears call for action against Israel

Brazilian representative Duda Pavao (second from left) celebrates with other delegates after Brazil won the bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup at the 74th Fifa Congress at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Reuters)
Brazilian representative Duda Pavao (second from left) celebrates with other delegates after Brazil won the bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup at the 74th Fifa Congress at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Reuters)

Brazil was declared host of the 2027 Women’s World Cup after winning a vote at the annual Fifa Congress on Friday in Bangkok, beating the joint bid of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany to become the first South American country picked to stage the tournament.

Brazil won with 119 votes versus 78 for the European entry, boosted by a technical evaluation from the world football governing body that gave a high score for its commercial plan and stadiums purpose-built for the 2014 Men’s World Cup.

“We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women’s football and for women,” said Ednaldo Rodrigues, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation.

“You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women.”

The Congress at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center also heard a call by Fifa for all members to impose mandatory sanctions to tackle racist abuse.

As well, there was a Palestinian proposal to suspend the Israel Football Association (IFA), accusing it of multiple violations of Fifa statutes, including over the war in Gaza and inclusion in Israel’s leagues of teams located in Palestinian territory.

‘Right side of history’

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said an urgent legal assessment of the Palestinian allegations would be undertaken and the Fifa Council would convene an extraordinary congress in late July to address the issue.

He said he was extremely shocked by both the Oct 7 attack by Hamas in Israel and the devastation in Gaza, adding: “I pray for all those people who suffer unimaginably”.

The president of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Rajoub, had accused the IFA of racism and discrimination, in a proposal that alleged complicity in its failure to condemn the operations in Gaza. The IFA rejected the claims.

“Fifa cannot afford to remain indifferent to these violations or the ongoing genocide in Palestine,” Rajoub told the Congress. “I ask you to stand on the right side of history. … If not now, when?”

His Israeli counterpart Shino Moshe Zuares said the Palestinian proposal had nothing to do with football and that the IFA had broken no rules.

“Once again, we are facing a cynical political and hostile attempt by the PFA to harm Israel,” he said.

“I am holding myself back … in the hope things can be better for the game for those who play in Israel, the Palestinian authority, or those who play all over the world.” (Story continues below)

Fifa president Gianni Infantino speaks about football’s efforts to combat racism, at the Fifa Congress in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo: Reuters)

Transformative bid

The vote on the Women’s World Cup had been whittled down to two candidates after the United States and Mexico withdrew to pursue the 2031 tournament instead.

Brazil had scored 4.0 out of 5 compared to 3.7 for Belgium-Netherlands-Germany in the Fifa evaluation, which had highlighted the European bid’s compactness, solid commercial viability and short distances between venues, but noted smaller capacities of its 13 stadiums.

Brazil football chief Rodrigues said the win was the result of conviction, not lobbying.

“We were not campaigning, asking for votes. We were working to give Fifa what it needed,” he said.

The bid’s operational manager Valesca Araujo said the aim was to boost women’s football in South America, which was underdeveloped and had huge potential.

“The concept we presented went beyond a sports tournament. We worked for a transformation,” she said.

“Now we have to celebrate. It’s a great achievement for South America.”

Fifa vowed to be tough on racism with a call for strict measures to be implemented by all member over instances of abuse, including forfeiting of matches, and introducing racism as an offence in players’ disciplinary codes.

It advocates suspending or abandoning games plus the introduction of a global standard gesture for players to inform referees of racist abuse.

“If it is a problem of society and society can’t deal with it, let’s deal with it in football once and for all,” Infantino said.

Infantino also weighed in on what he called a “futile debate” over the volume of matches played globally, arguing Fifa organised about 1% of club games and just 1% to 2% of national team matches.

He reminded delegates that most Fifa members “would have no football without the resources” Fifa provides.

“I hope these figures will show that we should probably stop this futile debate, it’s really pointless, and focus on what we need to do,” he said.

Do you like the content of this article?