FIFA Set To Announce An Expanded 2023 Women’s World Cup26 Jul, 2019
It has been reported that FIFA have asked council members Friday to approve adding eight more teams within days and without a formal meeting.
Council members have been told that FIFA has a responsibility to ensure that its women’s competitions not only showcase women’s football at the highest level, but also act as a catalyst to grow the game.”
This could all be brought into place in time for the 2023 tournament. The host is still to be decided. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea are currently preparing to submit formal plans for a 24-team tournament by 4 October.
The 2019 Women’s World Cup allocated eight qualifying slots to Europe, not including host France. Five went to Asian teams, three each to Africa and CONCACAF, two to South America and one to Oceania. One was decided by a North America-v-South America playoff.
This move would be great news for nations who are still developing towards professional national leagues and could provide a route for the likes of Wales and Belgium to make it into the big knock out competition.
The Guardian writes ‘FIFA now wants to modify the bid process by asking the nine federations to re-confirm interest for a 32-team tournament, and inviting other federations to enter. Bids would be submitted in December and a Fifa-run evaluation of the candidates would be published in April. And if council members agree to the expansion by next week, Fifa suggests they would pick the host next May instead of March as previously scheduled.
Also another positive move FIFA noted that “the current economic model has the possibility to shift from being subsidised by men’s football to becoming a sustainable revenue stream.”