The Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) earlier this week announced it would halt all operations due to nearly $16 million in debts. WUSA board of governors chair John Hendricks expressed regret at the news’ poor timing-the Women’s World Cup is set to begin this Sunday-however, he insisted, “We had an awful dilemma, and the board felt we should shut down and do this outside of bankruptcy,” reported the Agence France Presse. Low corporate sponsorships, poor television ratings, and an inadequate business plan were cited as culprits to the 3-year-old association’s demise.
The 8-team WUSA was created in 1999 following the US women’s victory at the World Cup. The US team, composed almost entirely from the WUSA, defends the World Cup title against Sweden this Sunday in Washington, DC.