FIFA moved goalposts as Danish bid for U17 World Cup ignored in favour of Qatar and Morocco

March 20 – The Danish Football Association (DBU) have said they expressed interest in hosting the U-17 World Cup, but never heard back from FIFA who awarded the next five editions of the tournament to Qatar, claiming the decision “followed a global call for expressions of interest.” 

Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet reports that the DBU was keen on staging the youth tournament in 2025 and informed FIFA of their interest. It is understood that the Danes weren’t the only European national association to be blindsided by FIFA’s decision.

“A normal process is that you get more details about what you have to fulfil before you make a final offer,” DBU director Erik Brøgger Rasmussen told the newspaper. However, the DBU never received a reply from the global governing body.

In a press release on March 14, FIFA announced the award of five years of U-17 World Cup hosting to Qatar and Morocco, starting in 2025. The 2022 World Cup host nation and the 2030 World Cup co-hosts are among the biggest supporters of current FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

In its press release FIFA highlighted that there had been “a global call for expressions of interest in hosting both competitions” but failed to disclose which nations had communicated their intention of bidding.

The DBU became aware of the FIFA decision via the same press release.

“FIFA changed the process we were told about,” said Rasmussen. “We hadn’t been told that you had to bid for five years. We raised our hands and said we were interested. We thought it was one final round. The fact that you then end up in a completely different place without informing us is, we think, a somewhat strange process.”

“Morocco and Qatar have said that they were prepared for the five-year model. They have then agreed to this without apparently announcing it to others.”

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