June 29 – A leading Australian commentator has heaped scorn on the English FA for refusing to back his country’s joint bid with New Zealand to stage the 2023 women’s World Cup.
Last week, the two nations won the right to host the tournament with a 22-13 win over Colombia.
But after the vote fingers were pointed in the direction of English FA chairman Greg Clarke by Australian FA (FFA) chief executive James Johnson who described the English vote for outsiders Colombia as disrespectful. “I must say we are disappointed with the way the FA voted,” he said later.
Clarke’s vote was part of a collective decision by UEFA for its nine Council members to support Colombia en bloc despite the country having a patently weaker technical evaluation (though to be fair to Clarke went to the FIFA Council as a UEFA rather than English rep).
Australia’s media made it clear in the aftermath of the ballot who they thought was the villain of the piece.
It was suggested that Clarke – who reportedly turned down a call from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern the build-up to the vote – was forced to toe the line because he’s up for re-election as a UEFA representative on the FIFA council next year.
Leading Australian talk show host Eddie McGuire did not mince his words.
“It’s good to see that England has voted in solidity with Europe … that’s the mob they’ve just ‘Brexited’ from, remember that?”, McGuire said.
“So just remember, next time we have a world war and you call us up, we’ll remember, OK?
“That is staggering that the Poms could look themselves in the mirror today not voting (for Australia and New Zealand).”
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