Women’s World Cup set for expansion too, predicts former Fifa exco member
The Fifa Women’s World Cup will follow the men’s competition and expand its tournament, according to Moya Dodd, a former executive committee member at soccer’s world governing body.
Speaking to the BBC in the wake of the Fifa Council’s decision to approve the expansion of the men’s tournament from 32 to 48 teams in 2026, she said: “I think it’s a little soon to put a date on it, but it must be a question of when not if [the Women’s World Cup will expand]. I think what the last 48 hours in Zurich has shown is that there is room for optimisation of Fifa’s tournament.”
She added: “When we expanded from 16 to 24 in the last edition in Canada, there were a few people with misgivings about the quality of play that we would see. In the end those doubts were unfounded.”
The 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada was the first edition to feature 24 teams after Fifa voted in favour of expanding the competition in 2009.
The 2015 tournament, which was won by USA, attracted 1.3 million spectators, an average of over 26,000 per match.
Dodd, who is vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation, the regional governing body, is one of eight candidates seeking election to become one of three Asian representatives on the new Fifa Council, which replaced the old executive committee.
The AFC’s elections were due to be held in September but were delayed in protest at Fifa banning Saoud Al-Mohannadi, a senior Qatari soccer official.
The governing body is now expected to hold the elections in conjunction with the Fifa Congress taking place in Bahrain in May.