Women's World Cup 2015 'can restore football's credibility'

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport in Moncton, Canada
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Women's World Cup on the BBC
Dates: 6 June - 5 July. Coverage: Every match live on the BBC. All games online with selected matches on BBC Two, BBC Three and Red Button. Catch-up via BBC iPlayer. Every England game on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text commentary of every England game via BBC Sport website.

The Women's World Cup can restore football's credibility after a week of scandal at Fifa, say organisers.

Hosts Canada kick off the event against China on Saturday four days after Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he would resign amid corruption allegations.

Canadian Soccer Association's Victor Montagliani said: "Women's football is a pure form of football.

"It can shine light onto the dark clouds hanging over the game, which has lost some of its moral compass."

CSA president Montagliani said the Women's World Cup would not be damaged despite events at Fifa over the last 10 days.

Victor Montagliani
Victor Montagliani, head of the Canadian Soccer Association, has said there were "absolutely" no bribes in their World Cup bid

The tournament is expanding to 24 teams for the first time and 920,000 tickets have already been sold.

On Tuesday, Blatter, 79, announced he would resign despite his re-election four days previously.

It came after seven top Fifa officials were arrested as part of a United States investigation into bribes and corruption at world football's governing body.

Since then it has been reported Blatter is being investigated by the FBI with Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke also denying he had made improper payments of up to $10m.

Valcke has already said he will be absent from the Women's World Cup opening ceremony on Saturday.

Fifa officials also said at an opening news conference on Thursday that Blatter's attendance at the World Cup final in Vancouver on 5 July was still to be confirmed.

The tournament will be the biggest Women's World Cup yet, with prize money increased to $15m, with winners taking home $2m, up by 50% from four years ago.

But Fifa officials could not confirm whether the money spent on hospitality for Fifa executives during the tournament would eclipse that figure.

Montagliani also rejected suggestions that organisers were paid bribes to stage the tournament after similar allegations about the 2018 and 2022 men's World Cups.

"We were the only country that bid," he said. "There were other countries that were interested, but we were the only country that was standing."

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