World Cup 2023: FFA Chief Calls English FA 'Disrespectful' For Voting Snub

By on
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura and president Gianni Infantino after the announcement that Australia and New Zealand would host the 2023 women's World Cup
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura and president Gianni Infantino after the announcement that Australia and New Zealand would host the 2023 women's World Cup FIFA / Handout

Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson made his displeasure known to reporters after it was revealed the English Football Association voted for Colombia to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. 

Australia and New Zealand’s bid to host the World Cup was a success as the trans-Tasman neighbours secured an overwhelming win against Colombia. FIFA Council members voted 22 of 35 in favor of the two countries. 

However, not all was well despite being awarded as hosts. In an effort to be more transparent, results of the voting were released and showed English FA Chairman Greg Clarke siding Colombia. Africa and North America delegates voted for Australia-New Zealand.

A known ally of the trans-Tasman, Clarke voted for Colombia despite it receiving a significantly lower score in the FIFA evaluation report -- 2.9 out of five to AU-NZ’s 4.1.

"I actually don't find it very funny," Johnson told Fox Sports.

"I think that was quite disrespectful to be perfectly honest with you. It was a process that was, I think, run very well by FIFA... we scored very highly on a report that was an objective report.”

It was also revealed Clarke refused to take a phone call from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as she was lobbying for votes. 

In a statement, the English FA said its decision was in line with their hope of increasing the growth of women’s football in South America. 

"It was a choice between two countries -- Australia and New Zealand -- where women's football is already strongly established, and a continent where it still has to be firmly implanted and has a huge development potential."

Despite the controversy, Johnson said he was happy with how the voting process turned out. He still believes it has been a “fair process."

Join the Discussion