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FIFA’s Anti-Corruption Progress Apparently Doesn’t Apply To Women’s Game

The bidding process for the 2023 Women's World Cup host began on Tuesday. 

FIFA adopted many reforms following the debacle that saw human-rights violators Russia and Qatar awarded the men’s World Cups in 2018 and 2022, respectively. Shockingly, not all of those improvements have made their way over to the women’s game. (OK, not really that surprising.)

The United States, Mexico and Canada won the right to host the 2026 World Cup last summer over a bid from Morocco. The bidding process included many new anti-corruption reforms and increased scrutiny on hosts. While the 2023 Women's World Cup host bidding will undergo similar scrutiny, FIFA will ultimately make the decision in secrecy. 

When FIFA convenes in 2020 to determine the 2023 Women's World Cup host, 37 people (mostly men, undoubtedly) will meet in private to pick the winner. 

“FIFA’s Statutes explicitly stipulate that the selection of venues for the final competitions of all tournaments rests with the FIFA Council with the exception of the FIFA World Cup, where there power lies with the Congress,” FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.

What the hell, FIFA. 

You’d think anti-corruption measures would extend to more than just FIFA’s biggest cash cow. This is like a bank locking up its vault with the largest amount of money but leaving all the others wide open. 

Secrecy is how Russia and Qatar were able to eke out enough votes to host and abolishing this sort of anonymous voting was one of the first changes FIFA made to show it was serious about ending corruption. But FIFA doesn't seem to care about this sort of problem on the women's side. 

It’s just another case of the FIFA organization treating men as superior to women. 

Four years ago the women were forced to play the World Cup on artificial turf. FIFA still hasn’t confirmed the use of video replay at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, though it has been hinted at. And let’s not forget the massive gap between prize money available to men and women from FIFA’s World Cups

Additionally, FIFA is not asking bids for the 2023 Women’s World Cup to be “bulletproof,” as it demanded for men’s World Cup bids, according to the AP

Thus far, Australia and Colombia have announced bids or plans to bid on the 2023 World Cup. The Colombian bid, however, may not get off the ground after the country’s FA was accused of sexual discrimination by two female soccer players

Other countries that could put forth bids to be the 2023 Women's World Cup host include Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand. Nations that want to host must submit an "expression of interest" to FIFA by March 15, less than a month away. Final submission bid books must be turned in by Oct. 2019. A final decision on the host will be made — in secret — in March of 2020. 

The 2019 Women’s World Cup will be hosted by France, which beat out a bid from South Korea.

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