Brazil has pulled out of the race to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, two weeks before the successful bid is announced.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said its government did not want to sign guarantees required to hold the event owing to COVID-19.
Brazil will now back Colombia’s bid to host the tournament, while Japan and a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand are also in contention.
A statement on the federation’s website noted the Brazilian Government had said “economic and fiscal austerity” played a part in the decision.
It added: “In view of the exceptional time experienced by the country and the world, CBF understands the cautious position of the Brazilian Government, and of other public and private partners, which prevented them from formalising the commitments within the time or in the required manner.”
A FIFA Council meeting to decide the winning bid will be held on June 25.
At the same time, the CBF has set up a R$100 million (€18.43 million) relief fund to help top-flight clubs mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.
Clubs in Brazil’s second tier have been allocated R$15 million, the governing body added in a statement.
The CBF had previously allocated R$19 million to clubs in Brazil’s third and fourth tiers, as well as the top two divisions of the women’s league.
Brazil has South America’s highest death toll from the novel coronavirus, with over 37,000 fatalities.