FIFA have confirmed South Africa as one of the nine countries left in the race to host the next Women’s World Cup, meeting Monday’s deadline to stay in the bidding process.
The South African Football Association have now received the bidding and hosting documents from FIFA and will have until 13 December to submit a bid book, the signed hosting agreement and all other hosting and bidding documents to world football’s governing body in Zurich.
SAFA are still to get formal buy-in from government and planned meetings with the sports ministry over the last months have not happened.
SAFA are hopeful that the impact that a Women’s World Cup would have on the youth of the country would persuade government to see its merits.
After expanding the size of the next women’s World Cup to 32 teams two months ago, the bidding process was re-opened with FIFA purposely not seeking to repeat the previous circus-like publicity swirl that has surrounded the bidding process.
The other countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea (who are planning a joint bid with North Korea). Dropping out are Belgium and Bolivia from the largest-ever list of countries to have submitted a bid for a single tournament in FIFA’s history.
For the next women’s World Cup, FIFA do not want the host country to build new infrastructure, but to use established stadia.
The winner of the bidding process is expected to be named by May, giving the host nation exactly three years to prepare.