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Official: FIFA expands Women's WC to 32 teams

Official: FIFA expands Women's World Cup to 32 teams

July 31, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The proposal to up the number of participating countries has been accepted.

The 2023 Women's World Cup will be expanded from 16 teams to 32, FIFA has announced. The world football governing body reached a unanimous decision on Wednesday to put the plan in motion with immediate effect.

Women's football has been on the rise in recent years and this summer's historic World Cup in France which was won by USA, showed glimpses of the heights which the competition could attain in the coming years. As part of plans to boost patronage and global engagement, a proposal to increase the number of participating countries has been rubber stamped by the FIFA Council.

At the moment, the country to host the next finals remains unknown although nine countries, namely Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, South Korea/North Korea, New Zealand and South Africa, have submitted bids to be conferred the mandate. While the official announcement to reveal the one who will accommodate the teams in the next edition will not be made until March 2020, FIFA President Gianni Infantino remains optimistic of the success that will accompany the expansion of the competition.

He said: "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.

"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."

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