An internal FIFA memo, obtained by The Reserve Squad, has revealed the destination of the 2015 Women's World Cup, a day before the international governing body is set to make the official announcement.
After Zimbabwe dropped out of the race on Tuesday, most believed that the sole remaining candidate -- Canada -- was a shoo-in to win the hosting rights. But the super-secret document appears to reveal otherwise.
"The withdrawal of our good friend, Mr. Mugabe, is quite unfortunate," the unsigned memo reads. "Given the situation we are now presented with, we are left with no choice but to award the 2015 World Cup to nowhere."
The memo goes on to list a number of issues that appear to have scuttled the Canadian bid.
"All available information indicates that Canada has a stable democratic governmental system, freedom of the press and equal rights for a wide variety of minority groups.
"As well, the country appears to have all basic infrastructure and transportation, as well as the political and financial flexibility to construct new facilities in a timely and appropriate manner.
"Lastly, the game of soccer is played by hundreds of thousands of young girls throughout the country, and the women's national team has enjoyed large measures of success on the international stage.
"With all of these factors working against the country, it would be unconscionable for FIFA to award the nation a senior World Cup. As a result, it is with regret that we must provisionally announce the cancellation of the 2015 Women's World Cup -- pending any latecomer bids from more suitable hosts, of course."
When reached for comment, one FIFA official who requested (but was denied) anonymity confirmed the veracity of the memo and shed additional light on the organization's thinking.
"Awarding the tournament to Canada would send the wrong message," said Joseph Zengbert. "It would dissuade the despots and dictators from applying to host future World Cups, and the executive committee was unanimous in expressing its concern over that.
"Furthermore, the Canadian government has only committed $15 million to the bid. Split 24 ways... I'm not sure what kind of all-expenses paid trip they think can be bought with that sort of money."
Zengbert then angrily muttered something about "that prick Declan Hill from Canada" and expressed his concern that political upheaval in north Africa may have destabilized conditions in Zimbabwe and caused that country to withdraw its favoured bid.
"Couldn't these people just wait four years to demand their 'rights' or whatnot? What's another four years?"
When asked what the female players -- who now must wait eight years between World Cups -- should do in the absence of a 2015 tournament, the highly-placed FIFA official said: "Make babies, of course."