Belgium, Netherlands and Germany launch joint WWC2027 bid promising ‘compactness’

By Samindra Kunti

October 25 – Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have promised one of the most “compact” tournaments yet in the race to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup. 

With co-hosting becoming the norm for FIFA tournaments, leading to a scale and largesse of tournaments that often defies logic and certainly tests sustainability criteria, the trio of European countries has a simple sales pitch: compactness.

In a statement marking the official launch of their bid, BNG2027 said the tournament “will offer a logistical set-up guaranteeing an exceptional fan experience through accommodation and transport links of the highest quality.

“Matches will be played within a compact vicinity centered around the border of our three countries to limit travel and meet ambitious objectives around sustainability which is at the heart of all operational and logistical planning.”

What those goals in terms of sustainability entail, the bid did not disclose. Germany has proposed Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Cologne as host cities, while the Netherlands has put forward Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Heerenveen and Enschede. Belgium, however, has not yet presented a shortlist of cities.

Belgium media report however that the Koning Boudewijnstadion – the Heysel – will not be among the candidate host venues because it doesn’t meet FIFA’s requirements in terms of hospitality areas, floodlights and roof. The venue serves as Belgium’s national stadium and went into lockdown last week after a gunman shot two Swedish supporters on the streets of Brussels.

The bid triumvirate were the first to throw their hat into the ring after FIFA opened the bidding process for its women’s football flagship tournament in 2027. The Europeans want to deliver a tournament of the highest quality and accelerate the growth of the women’s game in general.

The United States are considered their biggest rivals in the race for the 2027 finals, with Brazil and South Africa the other two bidding countries, but BNG2027 is confident that they can generate revenues that will entice FIFA.

The US will stage the 2026 World Cup, a bonanza that is projected to generate $11 billion.

In a joint statement, Pascale Van Damme, Just Spee and Bern Neuendorf, the presidents of the RBFA, KNVB and DFB, said that BNG2027 “will deliver a tournament of unparalleled quality for both participating teams and fans from across the world seeking to taste the unique experience and thrill of elite international football.”

Last summer, Australia and New Zealand co-hosted the biggest Women’s World Cup yet with bumper crowds, sufficient TV revenue and elevated prize money.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised – or at least indicated – that the 2027 finals will see equal prize money for the men’s and women’s games.

In 2019, France were the last European hosts. The United States hosted the tournament in 1999. No African or South American country has ever staged the Women’s World Cup. The bidding countries have to submit their bid books by December 8.

FIFA will award the hosting rights at its 75th Congress in May in Bangkok.

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