FIFA flags start of three-bid race to host Women’s World Cup 2027

December 11 – FIFA has received three bids to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the global governing body confirmed Saturday. 

December 8 was the deadline for nations to confirm their bids with the submission of bid books. In November, South Africa dropped out of the bidding race pivoting their focus toward the 2031 finals, but joint bids by Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the United States and Mexico will vie with a solo bid from Brazil to win the 2027 hosting rights.

“As part of the most robust and comprehensive bidding process in the history of the FIFA’s Women’s World Cup, FIFAwill now conduct a thorough evaluation process, including on-site inspection visits,” said a press release.

In February, a FIFA team will tour the bidding nations and FIFA will vote on the winning bid in May next year at its Congress in Bangkok. It’s the first time that Congress – the entire FIFA membership – will vote on the hosts for the Women’s World Cup.

Last summer, Australia and New Zealand co-hosted the finals, played for the first time in a 32-team format after the success of the 2019 edition in France, the last time a UEFA member hosted the tournament. With bumper crowds, a deep run for co-hosts Australia and increased prize money, the tournament was considered a success.

However, FIFA will seek to further grow the tournament, rendering the decision where the next Women’s World Cup will be staged crucial, even more so considering Gianni Infantino’s promise of equal prize money by 2027.

The United States and Mexico, as well as Canada, will host the 2026 men’s World Cup, having wowed the FIFA Congress in 2018 in Moscow with the promise of record revenues. The 2026 finals are projected to generate $11 billion.

“The cities and infrastructure included in the bid represent just a fraction of those across both countries that have the experience and capabilities necessary to host,” the joint bidders confirmed. Five venues in Mexico were included with the smallest capacity of the venues at 32,800 in the joint bid. The United States hosted the Women’s World Cup in 1999, Mexico has never staged the tournament.

Perhaps more importantly for FIFA’s executive and its voting federations is the estimated $3 billion the US-Mexico bid reckons it will deliver. It is a sum the other bidders will have to battle to match but it would mean FIFA’s major events in 2025 (expanded Club World Cup, 2026 and 2027) all being hosted in North America.

Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany proposed a total of 13 stadiums with Amsterdam and Dortmund proposed as potential venues for the opening match and final. Anderlecht, Ghent, Genk and Charleroi would be the host cities in Belgium, with the national stadium, the Heysel, left out of a bid that will seek to position itself as compact and climate-friendly.

However, with FIFA preferring the co-hosting model and stretching the concept of mega sporting events to an extreme, those considerations might not carry a lot of weight. The bid is however confident that it can generate enough revenue in comparison with the cash-rich American market.

Germany hosted the 2011 Women’s World Cup. The Netherlands organised the 2017 European championship. Belgium has never staged a major women’s tournament.

Brazil submitted their book bid, arguing that they have all the infrastructure required to host the finals. Brazil welcomed the 2014 men’s World Cup and they struck an upbeat tone about their chances. The CBF’s Ednaldo Rodrigues claimed that “Brazil is the clear favourite to host the next Women’s World Cup and we are very confident.”

However, Rodrigues has been removed from the CBF presidency by a Rio de Janeiro court and the new institutional crisis at the CBF won’t help Brazil’s chances. South America has never held the Women’s World Cup.

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