The FIFA Council, the
organization's executive body, gave unanimous approval for FIFA to expand the Women's World Cup from 24 teams to 32 for the 2023 finals.
Timeline. FIFA also updated the timeline for the bidding process:
August 2019: Current bidders must reconfirm their interest in bidding and any other federations must express their interest in bidding;
December 2019: Deadline for bid submissions
April 2020: Expected publication of Bid Evaluation Report
May 2020: Expected decision on the 2023 hosts (made by the FIFA Council).
Bidders. The nine current bidders -- Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea -- previously had until Oct. 4 to submit their bids. Significantly, FIFA has re-opened the bidding.
SA Confidential: U.S.
Soccer needs to step up and bid to host 2023 Women's World Cup
The tournament is slated to be played a month later in 2023 -- July-August -- but the already delayed bid process will give the host country (or countries) more than a year less than France had to prepare for the 2019 Women's World Cup.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who pushed for the expanded tournament as part of his proposal to expand the women's game, said the aim is to "keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women's football."
He said it goes beyond adding eight more Women's World Cup finalists.
"It means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organize their women's football program knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying," he added. "The Women's World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalization of the women's game, but it comes just once every four years and is only the top of a much greater pyramid. In the meantime, we all have a duty to do the groundwork and strengthen women's football development infrastructure across all confederations."