US-Mexico pull out of bid for 2027 Women’s World Cup, to focus on a run at 2031 hosting

April 30 – The US and Mexico have decided to pull out of bidding for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with the US Soccer Federation (USSF) telling its member bodies in a letter that it is instead focussing on a bid for the hosting rights to 2031.

With the US pulling out that leaves just two bidders left – the combined bid of Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, against the solo bid of Brazil.

The letter to members, co-signed by US Soccer Federation (USSF) president Cindy Parlow Cone and USSF CEO JT Batson, said: “This decision was not made lightly. Hosting a World Cup is a monumental responsibility, and we are committed to ensuring that when we do so, we can deliver an unparalleled experience for players, fans, and stakeholders alike. By shifting our focus to 2031, we believe we can maximize the impact of the tournament and set new standards for women’s soccer globally.”

In truth the US-Mexico bid was behind the its rivals both in its technical submission and in its lobbying of international federations.

Both federations have relatively new federation presidents and both are pretty much unknown in the international federation corridors of power. Neither have been prominent in international football circles lobbying or selling their countries’ abilities to host 2027. They have been noticeable by their lack of profile in that regard.

It was also felt by FIFA insiders that with the US hosting the expanded Club World Cup in 2025, and the joint hosting with Canada and Mexico of the men’s World Cup in 2026, awarding the third of FIFA’s biggest and most lucrative global competitions in the same country in three consecutive years was likely a step too far.

In 2028 Los Angeles will be hosting the Olympics whose Women’s Soccer tournament is still the most important international women’s tournament in the global calendar after the World Cup.

While the financial security of hosting 2027 in the US in a booming women’s soccer market is undoubtedly attractive (they were forecasting $3 billion in revenue), a concentration of events in the US didn’t fit comfortably alongside FIFA’s so-often quoted mantra of “making football global”.

FIFA’s members will vote on the hosts for 2027 on May 17 at their annual congress in Bangkok, Thailand. A decision on the hosts for women’s World Cup 2031 is expected next year.

“We are confident that by pursuing the 2031 bid, we can build upon the successes and lessons learned from the 2026 World Cup, strengthen our partnerships, and engage with our fans in innovative ways to ensure a record-breaking tournament,” said the USSF letter.

The US-Mexico bid had as one of its main tenets a commitment to equal investment to the men’s tournament.

FIFA will spend $896 million in prize money for the 2026 World Cup. In 2023 it spent $110 million in prize money for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The call for parity between the women and the men globally may be just a little too soon for FIFA and its male dominated membership.

The USSF letter referenced its commitment to gender equity, saying: “Our decision aligns with our vision of promoting equitable and inclusive environments within the sport. We are dedicated to investing equally in the women’s tournament, eliminating disparities, and fostering growth opportunities for soccer in the United States and beyond.”

Ultimately the US-Mexico bids required more time to deliver on its promises, and more of an air-gap between other major events.

“The strength and universality of our professional women’s leagues, coupled with our experience from organizing the 2026 World Cup, means that we will be able to provide the best infrastructure as well as an enthusiastic fan base that will make all the participating teams feel at home and to put together a World Cup that will contribute to the continued growth of women’s football,” said Mexican Football Federation president Ivar Sisniega.

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