Essen has been dropped from the list of candidate host cities for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. The Organising Committee (OC) formally advised the Mayor of Essen, Dr. Wolfgang Reiniger, of the decision at the end of last week. “We did not receive a resolution regarding the construction of a new stadium by the pre-determined deadline, and can therefore no longer continue to include Essen as a potential venue,” explained OC President Steffi Jones.

“We regret this decision, but on the other hand, it is understandable. We are unable to supply detailed plans at the current time. Other cities with existing stadiums possess a clear advantage,” commented Essen chief executive Christian Hulsmann.

The process of selecting host cities requires the OC to be furnished with detailed stadium plans, specifically with regards to the fulfilment of FIFA’s minimum requirements. These range from precise details of media operations, including camera positions, press seating and photographers’ working areas, through to technical and organisational arrangements for ticket sales. “We deeply regret the decision, especially as Essen is renowned as a football-loving city and Rot-Weiss boast a rich history as a club. However, we were unable to evaluate the venue objectively under the current circumstances,” Jones continued.

Eleven cities and stadiums - Augsburg, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, Magdeburg, Monchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg – remain candidate host cities for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011. The OC expects to publish the final list of between six and nine host cities in the autumn.