Infantino To Expand Women’s World Cup To 32 Teams

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FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants to expand the women’s World Cup to 32 teams from 24 for the next edition in 2023 along with doubling the prize money t US$60 million, he said on Friday.

Infantino said he would take his proposals to the FIFA council and member associations for approval.

“I want to expand the tournament to 32 teams,” he told a news conference.

“We will have to act quickly to decide if we are to increase it for 2023, if we do, we should reopen the bidding process to allow everyone to have a chance or maybe co-host. Nothing is impossible.”

The deadline for submitting bid documents to host the next World Cup was in April, with a host due to be appointed in March 2020 by the FIFA council. However, those plans may now change should the expansion get the go ahead.

Nine countries have so far submitted bids including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea.

Infantino hailed the 2019 tournament in France as “the best women’s World Cup ever”, citing figures that show the global reach will exceed 1 billion viewers across all platforms.

Infantino pledged FIFA would increase its investment in women’s soccer worldwide to $1 billion (from $0.5bn) over the next four-year cycle.

He also spoke of wanting to create an international women’s league, with promotion and relegation like the Nations League in the men’s game, to improve competitiveness in the World Cup.

Source: Reuters

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