Fifa has attracted an additional bidder for the 2023 Women’s World Cup even after deciding to expand the number of teams from 24 to 32.
The addition of Belgium, which was announced today, takes to 10 the number of national associations that have expressed interest in staging the event, a record for the tournament.
The others are Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, South Korea (in partnership with North Korea), New Zealand and South Africa.
It was thought that there could be drop-outs given the extra commitments required after Fifa announced at the end of last month that it was reopening the bidding process for the 2023 Women’s World Cup having decided to increase the number of participating teams by eight to 32.
However, the perceived success of this year’s tournament in France appears only to have galvanised enthusiasm, with all of the original nine bidders still at the table.
The change has necessitated a new timetable for the awarding of the next event, with the member associations given until 2 September to confirm their participation.
Fifa will dispatch bidding and hosting documents (including updated detailed hosting requirements) a day later.
The contenders must submit their bid books, signed hosting agreements and all other hosting and bidding documents to Fifa by 13 December.
The governing body will conduct official inspection visits in January and February of 2020, and expects to select the host of the World Cup in May, two months later than originally planned.
Having won this year’s event, their fourth crown overall, USA have already declared their intention to bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup.