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SARS: FIFA Women’s Cup, China, to be relocated

FIFA Release, Zurich -The 4th FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003, due to be staged in PR China from 23 September to 11 October, will be transferred to another country in view of the current health threat in China, which is greatly affected by the SARS epidemic.

The FIFA Executive Committee, chaired by President Joseph S. Blatter, passed this decision at its meeting today, in compliance with a unanimous recommendation from the Sports Medical Committee of football’s world governing body (chairman: Dr Michel D’Hooghe, Belgium). The FIFA Sports Medical Committee had advised against holding the world championship in China after consulting experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) and specialists in epidemiology and travel medicine in universities throughout Europe.

To date, the USA and Australia have expressed interest in staging the competition. The FIFA administration will be clarifying the situation over the next few weeks, especially with regard to the timing of the championship. The final competition should, ideally, coincide with the timing of that originally planned for China. Either the FIFA Emergency or Executive Committee will pass the final decision.

At the same time the Executive Committee announced that the 2007 Women’s World Cup would be awarded to China.

Further information will be given at the media conference to be held after the Executive Committee meeting at 15.00 h today, Saturday. The media conference can be watched live via the official website of FIFA (www.fifa.com).

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