FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, yesterday (March 23) unveiled the launch of its bidding process to find a host or hosts for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC).

Switzerland-based FIFA has said the bidding process will be the most comprehensive in the competition’s history and that it expects to make its appointment for the WWC in four years’ time at the 2024 FIFA Congress on May 17 next year.

Member associations must formally express their interest in staging the 32-team tournament by April 21 this year.

This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place in Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and August 20, with those two nations having come out ahead of Colombia in a FIFA Congress vote in June 2020. The 2019 edition was hosted solely by France.

For the 2027 edition, Brazil and South Africa (which missed out on the 2023 edition) have both announced they will bid, while joint submissions are expected from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.

Other interest has been reported from countries including the US, Mexico, Chile, and Italy.

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The US is one of women’s soccer’s traditional soccer powerhouses, with the sport is also popular in the aforementioned European countries.

The WWC has never previously been staged in South America, meanwhile.

FIFA has said the selection process for the 2027 tournament covers all key elements from the bidding process for this year’s WWC, “such as the publication of key content and documentation, the inclusion of robust rules of conduct, and the implementation of a comprehensive evaluation model.”

In addition, several new elements have been introduced.

The FIFA Council will initially select up to three bids, with the Congress then voting openly to appoint the host(s).

There will also be a bid evaluation task force established, whose competition will be approved by the FIFA Council, while new integrity measures will put in place too.

These will cover the appointment of an independent audit company “to monitor FIFA’s compliance with the principles and procedures of the bidding process” and the appointment by each prospective host of a “bid compliance and ethics offer to monitor their compliance with the bidding process.”

Member nations who announce their interest by April 21 will then have until May 19 to submit formal expressions of interest.

There will then be a bid workshop and observer program in August, before the deadline for associations to submit bids on December 8.

FIFA will subsequently organize on-site inspection visits to bidding nations in February next year before it publishes its bid evaluation report just before the final vote.

Fatma Samoura, secretary general of FIFA, said: “The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027 will build on the legacy of the record-breaking edition that Australia and New Zealand are due to organize in a few months. In line with FIFA’s commitment to women’s football, this bidding process sets new standards and puts us on track to host an outstanding event in 2027 on and off the pitch.”