South Africa has withdrawn from hosting the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2016, it has been announced.
South Africa has been embroiled in the latest phase of match-fixing scandals after a New York Times investigation reported findings from a FIFA investigative report indicating that at least five international matches were subject to match fixing prior to the 2010 World Cup in the country.
FIFA have refused to explain publicly why South Africa withdrew.
South African have indicated they withdrew due to a new link it would have to the senior Women’s World Cup.
“We have decided to give it back after the FIFA Executive took a decision to link the Under-20 tournament and the senior World Cup finals,” SAFA President Danny Jordaan said.
“The decision to link the two tournaments was taken after we were given the under 20 World Cup.
“It is a similar arrangement to the Confederations Cup and the [men’s] World Cup.
“The Under-20 World Cup will be used to test the readiness of the country hosting the tournament for the seniors.
“As you are aware, we announced earlier this year that we are going to bid to host the 2019 Women’s World Cup for seniors.
“In that case, we will also be given the 2018 Under-20 tournament because the two tournaments are going to be linked.”
A new host country is due to chosen by FIFA’s ruling Executive Committee at its next meeting, which is due to take place in Zurich on September 25 and 26.
FIFA may try to persuade Norway or Republic of Ireland, both beaten by South Africa for the tournament when it was awarded last December, to pick themselves forward as alternative hosts.