Colombia and Conmebol accuse FIFA 2023 bid inspectors of discrimination

June 18 – A major row has broken over FIFA’s assessment of candidates to stage the 2023 women’s World Cup.

The Colombian FA chief and the head of CONMEBOL have both jointly written to FIFA complaining of “erroneous and discriminatory conclusions” in rating the South American  country’s bid to host the tournament.

Of the three contenders, Colombia’s proposal to bring the competition to South America for the first time received the lowest score in the evaluation process ahead of the vote next Friday by the FIFA Council.

The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand was rated 4.1 out of five in the report, Japan was adjudged worthy of a 3.9 score but Colombia only got 2.8.

A letter to the members of the FIFA council signed by CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez and Ramon Jesurun, head of the Colombian Football Federation (CFC), said the report lacked credible sources to support its conclusions.

“In the document, FIFA’s administration draws some erroneous and discriminatory conclusions on three aspects of vital importance for the score of our candidacy,” read the letter quoted by Reuters – medical services, doping and commercial aspects of the bid.

But the two officials also took exception to references to terrorism.

“Colombia today lives in a time of stability and social peace, fruits of the efforts and maturity of its people,” the letter said adding that FIFA’s evaluation panel were guilty of “ignorance in relation to Colombia’s situation, and a lack of interest in carrying out, at least, minimal research of the situation in which this country finds itself currently.”

The pair also denounced the report’s assertion that Colombian hospitals were not up to scratch.

“The best hospitals in Bogota, Medellin and Cali are among the most advanced in South America, according to the prestigious ranking of America Economia,” read the letter. “Moreover, they are recognized for receiving serious cases from abroad.”

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