Japan withdraw from 2023 Women’s World Cup race

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Earlier this month, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) decided to withdraw its bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and on Monday, The Japanese Football Association (JFA) followed suit stating that they were losing the support of the Southeast Asian ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).

The JFA held an executive board meeting on Monday, where members of the association decided that it is best to withdraw Japan’s candidacy and join the AFF in backing the Australia/New Zealand.

Fifa council will hold a vote on Thursday, 25 June to determine the successful candidate with Australia/New Zealand bid in pole position ahead of Colombia.

“We have shown how we could host the tournament in Japan in our bid, so I don’t think our efforts were in vain,” said JFA chairman Kozo Tashima.

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on hold now until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the JFA said that it is unlikely one country would be awarded two major women’s football tournaments back-to-back.

Below is the statement from TASHIMA Kohzo, President of Japan Football Association and Chairperson of Japan Bid Committee.

Japan first declared to become a candidate to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ at the JFA Executive Committee in 2007. Along with the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and establishment of Women’s Professional Football league, the Japan FA has been thriving to push forward the enhancement and development of women’s football.

The decision to withdraw from the Bid was taken after careful and thorough consideration in the Japan Bid Committee as well as the JFA Executive Committee.

As stated in our Ideal, “Through football we realise the full benefits that sports can bring to our lives the soundness of our bodies, the expansion of our minds and the enrichment of our societies” and we stand by our own words with full responsibility.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world and also the whole football family hard. We will continue to support the severely affected football clubs financially and work together with all stakeholders to bring back the world where we can safely enjoy the game we all love.

As the only nation to have won the World Cup at every age level, we have felt in our own hearts the impact the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ can have on individuals and society as a whole. As a result of JFA’s ceaseless efforts to empower people through our social activities, we also know the power of football to influence society.

Now, we can show the solidarity of Asian Football Family, to lead to a successful bid. Japan will cooperate with FIFA and the host nation(s) to ensure women’s football in the world continues to advance, expand and ascend to a higher level.

RELATED STORY: Brazil withdraws bid for the 2023 Womens World Cup

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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