(WFI) Delegations from France and South Korea today handed over bid dossiers to the FIFA president for the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Officials from the countries’ football Associations met with Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jérôme Valcke at FIFA HQ in Zurich. They handed over their bid documents for the U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 and Women’s World Cup 2019.

Today’s handover marked the end of the bidding process. FIFA will evaluate the bid submissions, with the FIFA Executive Committee to decide the host nation in March.

Korea Republic’s delegation included Korea FA president Mong Gyuchung.

“We are very proud to bid for these two competitions,” Gyuchung was quoted by FIFA. “We have the full support from our head of government [Korea Republic’s president, Park Geunhye] and having this competition would certainly help greatly the development of women’s football in our country.

“It would be the first time we would organise a FIFA women’s tournament, but we have a good experience in other FIFA competition as we were in charge of the FIFA World Cup in 2002, of course, but also the U-17 World Cup in 2007, with the U-20 World Cup to come in 2017.”

The France delegation included federation president Noel Le Graet, secretary-general Brigitte Henriques and national team coach Philippe Bergeroo.

“Women’s football has grown up a lot in France over the past decade at every single level and we have increased the number of players a lot in the past five years,” said Le Graet. “There is no doubt being granted these two competitions would give a huge boost to the development of women’s football in France. A lot of cities are interested in hosting the tournament.

Noting that both nations had organised a men’s World Cup, France in 1998 and korea co-hosting with Japan in 2002, Blatter said: “It’s really great to see now their interest shifting towards women’s competition.

“I’ve always been behind women’s football and I’m therefore really glad to see this evolution. I’m really confident that either will be fantastic organisers.”

The qualification process is still underway for Canada’s 2015 Women’s World Cup. Twenty-four teams will compete in the June 6-July 5 finals.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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