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FIFA members vote on who will host the 2027 Women’s World Cup


AP Photo/Abbie Parr, file
The tournament trophy is displayed on the pitch before the Women’s World Cup Football Final between Spain and England at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Australia, on August 20, 2023.

During its meeting in Bangkok this week, the FIFA Congress will choose from a filtered field of two candidates to organize the 2027 Women’s Football World Cup.

A joint bid by the United States and Mexico was withdrawn late last month, and South Africa withdrew its candidacy in November. That left only two bids for Friday’s vote: a joint proposal from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and another from Brazil.

It is the first time that all 211 associations affiliated with FIFA have the opportunity to think about the host of the women’s tournament. Previously, this was decided by the FIFA Council, the decision-making committee of the governing body.

Brazil are favored to win the match, especially after scoring higher in a FIFA evaluation report last week.

“The document shows that Brazil has met with excellence all the strict requirements of the bidding process,” Brazilian Football Federation president Ednaldo Rodrigues said.

The Brazilian bid, titled ‘As natural as football’, highlights an event that will inspire women and girls and raise awareness on issues of sustainability, social responsibility and inclusivity.

Brazil was also in the running for the 2023 Women’s World Cup but dropped out due to ongoing hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan also withdrew late in that process. When the bids were finally considered, there were only two: Colombia and the joint entry from Australia and New Zealand, which ultimately won with 63% of the council’s votes.

Brazil has hosted two men’s World Cups, in 1950 and 2014, and the 2016 Olympics. A South American country has never hosted a women’s World Cup and other CONMEBOL countries are likely to support the effort.

“The results published by FIFA increase our strength so that we can work harder in this final sprint,” Rodrigues said. “We will work more so that we can get the maximum number of votes. We want everyone’s support.”

Germany hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2011 and the Netherlands hosted the 2017 Women’s European Championship. Among the benefits of the “BNG” proposal: There are 13 possible host cities accessible by train.

Their bid – titled ‘Breaking New Ground’, using the countries’ initials – marks the first time the three traditional rivals have teamed up as potential hosts. Belgium and the Netherlands jointly hosted the European Men’s Championship in 2000.

“There is a fantastic combination of knowledge from organizing those big tournaments together, with some new ideas,” German Football Federation Secretary General Heike Ullrich told The Associated Press. “A very important thing for us when organizing a tournament is that it is compact… so ‘local but global’ is one slogan. The longest distance between two locations is 300 kilometers (185 miles), which means for teams and fans they can simply find their base camp and go from A to B.”

The assessment report identified risks within the legal “contractual framework” required by FIFA to host the event in the BNG proposal. Ullrich countered that any complications arising from working with three different governments would be ironed out, and that transportation, for example, would only be arranged after a successful bid. Germany is hosting this year’s European Men’s Championship, with ticket holders getting free local transport to matches and discounts on long-distance services.

“It’s just a matter of timing and when we take these steps,” Ullrich said. “Of course we will provide everything FIFA needs to have a FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

Organizing the event also has a growing economic benefit. The Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015 attracted 1.35 million spectators. $493.6 million in economic activity was generated by the tournament and the Women’s Under-20 World Cup the year before.

It almost doubled during last year’s World Cup, bringing in $865.7 million for Australia and $67.87 million for co-host New Zealand.

The United States and Mexico withdrew in late April after calling for a $3 billion economic impact. But the sports calendar was already busy: the United States, Mexico and Canada were due to host the men’s World Cup in 2026, and Los Angeles the 2028 Olympics.

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