CONMEBOL, Colombia complain to FIFA about 2023 World Cup bid report
(Reuters) - Colombia's chief football officer and the head of the South American football association CONMEBOL have written to FIFA and complained about "wrong and discriminatory conclusions" in evaluating the country's offer to host the 2023 Women's World Cup.
The Colombian proposal to bring the tournament to South America for the first time received the lowest score in a rating of three offers for hosting the tournament, which was carried out by the World Football Association before Friday's vote.
The joint offer from Australia and New Zealand was rated 4.1 out of 5 in the report. Japan was rated 3.9 points, Colombia only 2.8.
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A letter to members of the FIFA Government Council signed by CONMEBOL President Alejandro Dominguez and Ramon Jesurun, President of the Colombian Football Association (CFC), said the report lacked credible sources to support its conclusions.
"In the document, the FIFA administration draws some false and discriminatory conclusions on three issues that are critical to evaluating our candidacy," the letter said.
In addition to complaints about the accuracy of the information on medical services, doping and commercial aspects of the offer, two references to terrorism were criticized in the letter.
"Terrorism, to which the technical report alludes with unfortunate ease, has long ceased to exist," it says.
"Colombia today lives in a time of stability and social peace, the fruits of the efforts and maturity of its people.
"It means ignorance of the situation in Colombia and a lack of interest in undertaking at least a minimal investigation into the situation that country is currently in."
Another "confirmation" that was classified as "offensive" was that patients with serious illnesses would have to be evacuated to other countries because the emergency services in Colombian hospitals do not meet international hygiene standards.
"The best hospitals in Bogota, Medellin and Cali are among the most advanced in South America, according to America Economia's prestigious ranking," the letter said.
"In addition, they are recognized for serious cases from abroad."
FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the points raised in the letter.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney and Paulina Duran, editor of Richard Pullin)
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