Rising global interest in women’s football is reflected in the high number of countries who are vying to host the 2023 tournament.

(FIFA)

FIFA on Wednesday said it had received nine registrations from the nations who last month initially expressed interest in staging the flagship women’s competition. The football associations of Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and South Africa are keen to stage the tournament. 

South Korea’s federation is proposing a joint bid with North Korea.

April 16 was the deadline to submit completed bidding registrations to FIFA.

World football’s governing body said the group of federations “represents the largest-ever list of member associations to have confirmed their intention to submit a bid for a single tournament in FIFA’s history”.

On Friday, FIFA will send out bidding and hosting documents to each of the national federations, who have until Oct. 4 to submit formal bids. 

2019 Women’s World Cup will run from June 7 to July 7 (FIFA

Prior to that, they are invited to attend a bid information workshop and observer program in June during the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. This summer’s marquee FIFA event runs from June 7 to July 7.

It is expected to be a 24-team tournament, maintaining the format of the 2019 edition. FIFA’s bidding documents call for single and joint bids to propose a minimum of eight stadiums.

FIFA said its “fair and transparent bidding process” included a clear evaluation model “as well as a concrete commitment to sustainability and human rights”.

All bid books will be published in full on FIFA.com once they have been submitted to the world football federation in October.

The FIFA Council will choose the host in March 2020. The 37-member body will make its decision in secret rather than having the FIFA Congress decide in a public vote, as was done last year for the 2026 men’s World Cup.

In February, FIFA’s chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman predicted huge interest in the 2023 edition amid burgeoning enthusiasm for women’s football. She suggested it had much more potential for growth with FIFA looking for host countries to “create a sustainable legacy that will inspire upcoming generations of young girls and women to get involved in the game”.

Since 1991, the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been played every four years and, with a dramatic improvement in the level of play, media attention has increased exponentially and the game has grown in popularity. More than 750 million television viewers watched the 2015 edition of FIFA’s flagship women’s competition.

The Women’s World Cup is central to FIFA’s strategy to double the number of female players to 60 million by 2026.

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