ZURICH: This year's women's World Cup will be moved from China on medical advice because of the outbreak of SARS in the country, football world governing body FIFA said yesterday.
“The FIFA Sports Medical Committee had advised against holding the world championship in China,” FIFA said in a statement.
The tournament was due to take place from Sept 23 to Oct 11. A new venue would be announced within a few weeks, FIFA said. The United States and Australia had expressed an interest.
FIFA's Sports Medical Committee consulted experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and specialists from universities in Europe who advised against holding the event in China.
They met to discuss the situation last Wednesday and the FIFA Executive Committee, chaired by president Sepp Blatter, decided at a meeting on Saturday to move the tournament.
The Chinese government said yesterday 190 people had died from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and 3,971 had been infected by the disease.
FIFA said the 2007 women's World Cup would be awarded to China. – Reuters