Sports

FIFA Will Announce The 2023 Women’s World Cup Host Next Month

FIFA’s ruling council will announce the host nation of the 2023 Women’s World Cup on June 25 during a virtual meeting, soccer’s governing body announced Friday. Individual bids from the soccer federations of Brazil, Japan, and Colombia, along with a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand, are being considered in what FIFA called “the most competitive bidding process in the history of the Women’s World Cup.”

Hosting the 2023 tournament would be a first for all of the bidding nations. The FIFA Women’s World Cup was introduced as a competition in 1991 in China. Since then, Sweden, Germany and Canada have each hosted once, China hosted for a second time in 2007, the United States has hosted twice ⁠— at back-to-back tournaments in 1999 and 2003 ⁠— and France hosted last year’s event. The 2019 tournament saw the U.S. women’s national team dominate the opposition as they won their fourth World Cup, becoming the most successful team in Women’s World Cup history.

Originally, the hosts for the 2023 Women’s World Cup were supposed to be chosen at a FIFA Council meeting in June, however the global coronavirus pandemic pushed those plans back. Members of FIFA visited each of the four bidding sites for inspections in January and February of this year, and are “now finalising the evaluation report, which will be published in early June.” The results of June 25th’s ballot and voting rounds will be made public on FIFA’s website, according to the organization’s statement.

“FIFA remains committed to implementing the most comprehensive, objective and transparent bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is part of our overall commitment to women’s football that, among other things, will see FIFA invest USD 1 billion in women’s football during the current cycle,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura in the release.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will also see 32 teams take the field for the first time in the event’s history. The last two tournament, both won by the USWNT, had included 24 teams which was expanded from 16 in 2015.

No decision on an increase in prize money for 2023 has been made yet by FIFA, but the organization announced in 2018 that prize money for the 2022 men’s tournament would increase from $400 million to $440 million. As 2019 world champions, the USWNT earned $4 million in prize money compared to France’s $38 million for the 2018 men’s title, which included 32 teams. Furthermore, as Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal reported, while the 2019 Women’s World Cup attracted about 31 percent of the men’s global audience, “FIFA awarded the women 7.5 percent of the total prize money the men receive: $30 million, versus $400 million.” In July 2019, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that he would propose that the prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup double to $60 million, but further details have yet to be announced.

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