With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup behind us, the focus now shifts to the hosts of the tournament in 2027, the 10thedition of the competition.
Currently four bids are trying to get the nod from FIFA to welcome the players of other nations to their shores:
- The South African Football Association (SAFA)
- The Royal Belgian Football Association, the Royal Netherlands Football Association and the German Football Association (joint expression of interest)
- The Brazilian Football Association
- The U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexican Football Association (joint expression of interest)
Member associations had until 19 May 2023 to submit a bidding agreement.
All the bidding nations recently attended a workshop in Sidney, Australia during the World Cup. South Africa was represented by 2027 Bid Committee chair Tumi Dlamini, Bid Lead Russell Paul, SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao, newly appointed SAFA Women’s Head Romaney Pinnock and SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“The objective of the workshop was really to bring to speed all the building nations in terms of the requirements for hosting a World Cup and we also had an opportunity to go and see some of the venues – from the stadiums, the international broadcast center, the referees’ teams’ workshop, and their training sites. All in all, it was an opportunity for us as South Africa and other nations to understand what the scale, the nature and the requirements are for 2027 World Cup,” said Dlamini.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup was one of the most well-supported events in a long time, with many firsts –first FIFA Women’s World Cup with more than one host nation (Australia and New Zealand); first to World Cup to be held across multiple confederations (Oceania and Asia); first to have 32 participating nations; the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere and also the first to see three African countries progress to the Round of 16 (South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco).
While the success of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, who won their first World Cup match when they beat the highly ranked Italy 3-2, will go a long way in enhancing South Africa’s chances of hosting, a lot more will be needed.
“There was definitely a lot of excitement about the performance of Banyana Banyana as well as all the other African nations, and I must say that given their performance and also given the excitement that was brought about we do feel very strongly that Africa’s chance has come to host the Women’s World Cup, but of course you know it takes more than just the excitement, it takes more than just a feeling,” added the SA Bid Lead.
“We also feel quite strongly that our readiness, as a country, is quite strong given that we already have a lot of the stadiums that are required, we already have the infrastructure in place, like the IT infrastructure, we also have the transport network systems, the airports and so on. But we also have to acknowledge that it’s been 13 years since we hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup and there been a number of technological advances over the years – for instance when we visited the international broadcast center we had an opportunity to see the VAR system and how it works, and these are all some of the products that were not in place during 2010, so in that respect we do have a bit of work to do. But overall, I would say that South Africa is very well placed in terms of its competition.”
So, what next for the SA Bid Committee?
The bidding host nations have to put together their documents and submit completed bids to FIFA by 8 December this year, and this will be followed by a FIFA on-site inspection visit in February next year.
The host nation for the 2027 edition will be announce at the 74th FIFA Congress in May next year.
“There’s a lot of work for the Bid Committee to undertake now that we have a full understanding of the scale of the work that awaits us. I think the first step would be really to just now start to go to the host cities because that’s where the tournament will be taking place,” said Dlamini.
“So, it’s going to be very important to convene the provinces together with the whole cities, to get the city agreements signed and also to go to go to national government for the guarantees that are required, and we’ve already started process. And also, in February or March next year FIFA will be conducting inspection visits in each of the bidding nations, so we are expecting that they will be South Africa as well,” said Dlamini.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup has been held every four years since the first edition in China in 1991.
Initially there were 12 teams, and now the number of participants is on 32, which started with the recently ended tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
This was an increase of eight countries – from 24 four years in France.
Spain are the new world champions – for the first time ever – and will have four years to bask in the glory.
Only four nations have won the FIFA Women’s World Cup before – USA (x4); Germany (x2) as well as Japan and Norway.
Of the nine editions already played, there have only been eight host countries – with the USA the only nation to host twice (1999 and 2003).
LIST OF PREVIOUS HOSTS
|1999||United States||North America|
|2003||United States||North America|
|2023||Australia & New Zealand||Oceania|
By Matlhomola Morake