HomeNewsInfantino praises 32-team WWC: 'FIFA was proper' Get hold of US

Infantino praises 32-team WWC: ‘FIFA was proper’ Get hold of US

SYDNEY — FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit again at critics and took a victory lap on the FIFA Girls’s Soccer Conference Friday, saying that increasing the Girls’s World Cup has turned out to be successful and “FIFA was proper” to take action.

The event had 24 groups competing in its earlier version in 2019 in France, however this version in Australia and New Zealand expanded to 32 groups. Two groups stay, England and Spain, who will play within the remaining Sunday.

– Girls’s World Cup: Dwelling | Squads | Fixtures | Podcast

“We determined to extend the variety of taking part groups within the World Cup from 24 in France to 32 now,” Infantino stated in his opening remarks of the conference. “I keep in mind after we determined to do this, in fact, the standard critics — that are much less and fewer by the way in which, however there are nonetheless a couple of — they have been saying it isn’t going to work. ‘The extent is just too completely different. You should have 15-0 scores. It will likely be unhealthy for ladies’s soccer. It will likely be unhealthy for the picture of ladies’s soccer.’ I am sorry, however FIFA was proper. Because it occurs very often within the final years, FIFA was proper as soon as extra.

“From the 134 international locations that entered the qualification for the 2015 Girls’s World Cup earlier than I turned FIFA president, now we have now 188 international locations within the FIFA rating as a result of everybody believes now there’s a likelihood to shine on the worldwide stage.”

On this event, eight groups made World Cup debuts, with first-timer Morocco reaching the knockout stage earlier than being eradicated by France within the spherical of 16.

An unprecedented variety of upsets additionally featured at this event with No. 2 FIFA world-ranked Germany, No. 7-ranked Canada and No. 8-ranked Brazil all getting knocked out within the group stage by lower-ranked groups.

This version of the Girls’s World Cup additionally marks the primary time FIFA individually offered broadcast and sponsorship rights to the event as an alternative of bundling these offers as a part of the boys’s World Cup. The end result, Infantino stated, was revenues of greater than $570 million.

“This World Cup generated over $570 million in income, and so we broke even,” he stated. “We did not lose any cash and we generated the second-highest earnings of any sport in addition to, in fact, the boys’s World Cup, on the world stage. There will not be many competitions, even in males’s soccer, that generate greater than half a billion {dollars}.”

The number of Australia and New Zealand as host international locations drew some criticism earlier than the event as a result of the time zones could be unfavorable to audiences in Europe and North America, two of the biggest viewership markets for the World Cup. Infantino hit again at these critics as nicely, noting that the event had set new TV information around the globe.

In america, broadcaster FOX set a document for the group stage of a Girls’s World Cup. Two of the 4 U.S. ladies’s nationwide crew matches throughout the event started within the in a single day or early morning hours however averaged 3.80 million viewers on FOX, up 2% from the USA’s first 4 matches in 2019.

In Australia, 9 in 10 households watching TV throughout the Matildas’ semifinal vs. England on Wednesday have been tuned into the sport.

“We did it regardless of the critics who would not consider in international locations, which aren’t ‘soccer international locations,'” Infantino stated. “Why are you taking part in in winter away from regular — ‘regular’ was the phrase I heard — time zones? Think about, as when you have an irregular time zone right here. [They said] it would not work. Nicely, it did work.”

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