FIFA eyes hike in TV viewers at 2019 Women's World Cup

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PARIS — FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants the next edition of the Women's World Cup to draw a billion TV viewers across the world.

Infantino, who attended the official launch of the tournament that will be organized in France in 2019, said on Tuesday that the previous edition in Canada in 2015 was watched by 750 million viewers.

Speaking alongside French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet and French Sports Minister Laura Flessel, Infantino said, "Our goal is to reach one billion in France in 2019."

The tournament, which will run from June 7 to July 7, will gather 24 teams in six groups. France will kick off the event at Parc des Princes in Paris, with the semifinals and finals in Lyon.

"It will be magnificent," Infantino said. "France is a great football nation for both men and women."

Meanwhile, the Burkina Faso Football Federation has challenged FIFA's ruling to replay a World Cup qualifying game because the referee was corrupt.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says the Burkinabe football body filed an appeal against FIFA's decision to order a November replay of South Africa's 2-1 win over Senegal last year.

Burkina Faso calls the ruling by a FIFA World Cup panel "an abuse of power."

FIFA banned Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey for life for awarding the penalty that let South Africa lead 1-0.

Burkina Faso tops the qualifying group on goal difference over Cape Verde with two games left. Senegal trails by one point but could lead after the replay. Only the group winner advances to the World Cup.

CAS has not set an appeal hearing date. — AP


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