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FIFA Council approves World Cup expansion to 32 teams starting in 2023

The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be expanding to 32 teams beginning with the next edition of the tournament in 2023.

FIFA Council unanimously approved the expansion from 24 to 32 teams on Tuesday, as nine bidders are expected to submit their bid books by Oct. 4. The hosting requirements and timelines have also been updated due to the decision made by the Council, in which a host will be determined by May 2020.

“The astounding success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football. I am glad to see this proposal – the first of several − becoming a reality,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams; it means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organise their women’s football programme knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalisation of the women’s game, but it comes but 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.”

The U.S. Women’s National Team is a two-time defending champion after claiming its fourth all-time title earlier this month in a 2-0 win over the Netherlands.


  1. This seems to be being done on the basis of growing the game, but that doesn’t start at the top, it starts at the bottom. With the exception of Western Europe, the rest of the world still hasn’t taken much interest in developing women’s football over the last two decades. The depth in Asia and SA beyond 3-4 countries is severely lacking. Now they’re gonna bring more of those teams in? At least four, if not six of these spots have to go to UEFA for 2023, or this could be a debacle.

    There’s a reason Brazil keeps trotting out the ancient Formiga and Marta had to make an impassioned plea after elimination for more girls to get a chance in Brazil. They just don’t care about female sports down there. And they’re not alone. This isn’t going to grow the game and isn’t necessary at this point. It’s just caving to the SJW crowd who bang on about equality without understanding how you really get there.


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