The last time the USA and Mexico worked on a bid to host a FIFA World Cup, it was disrupted by an uninvited guest named COVID. But that doesn’t look to be the case for the future, as the two nations have once again bellied up to the bid table and expressed their desire to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup.
According to the U.S. Soccer Federation, the joint bid for the event will come on the heels of the three-nation cohort hosting the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup (which, of course, promoters in those three countries are saying will be “the largest, most impressive and highest-attended World Cup in history.”
All good. But who will that two-country bid be up against? FIFA has noted that to date, it has received a total of four formal expressions of interest from (in alphabetical order by country):
- The Royal Belgian Football Association, the Royal Netherlands Football Association and the German Football Association (joint expression of interest)
- The Brazilian Football Association
- The South African Football Association
- The U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexican Football Association (joint expression of interest)
FIFA adds, “The expressions of interest represent four confederations (CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and UEFA) and the remaining two (AFC and OFC) are hosting this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™. This level of participation confirms the global appeal of the competition.”
Something interesting: Mexico has never hosted a Women’s World Cup. FMF President Yon de Luisa told Inside The Games that staging the event will a huge boost to the game in the country:
“Women's football in Mexico has experienced sustained growth over the last five years and its development, both on and off the field, coupled with the female empowerment it has achieved and will continue to achieve, is one of the strategic priorities of the FMF," said de Luisa. "It is with pleasure that we are teaming up again with the US Soccer Federation in the pursuit of this World Cup for our region, which will undoubtedly be historic.”
It's possible that the current bid will be more streamlined than the last, and that the process will flow more evenly, but it’s equally likely it will run into some snags and those could cause a reset that could impact site selection.
In the time that has elapsed since the last World Cup was awarded, a number of issues have come to the fore, and those could cause changes in the selection of cities where women’s teams want to play. These include (but certainly are not limited to) discussions concerning the rights of transgender athletes, ability for women to access reproductive care in various states – and of course, the choice of fields that may not exactly be compatible with FIFA’s specifications.
Women’s soccer team members have been outspoken on all these issues and it is expected that a fair amount of discussion will be heard as countries put together their bids, and examine cities as possible host sites. Expect cities not chosen to host the 2026 World Cup to be in the mix as well, particularly given the various discussion points.
But, as has been previously noted in coverage for several years, the issue of
corruption moral flexibility at FIFA has come into play in recent site selections concerning the World Cup.
For those who are wondering why this is not another three-nation bid with Canada, here's the answer: Canada says it was not asked; however, representatives add, they have had their turn hosting the Women's World Cup, and not too long ago.
“We wish our close neighbors the best of luck in their bid to host the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Canada Soccer said in a statement to reporters at The Province. “Given we were recent hosts (in 2015), Canada Soccer has not been part of these conversations and was never put in a position to decline a co-hosting opportunity. If the U.S. Soccer and the Mexican Federation bid is successful, it would be Mexico’s first time hosting a Women’s World Cup, and we are in full support.”
Canada Soccer further noted that the 2015 tournament on home soil set a Women’s World Cup attendance record of 1,353,506, with 750 million viewers watching worldwide:
“It was an honor to welcome the world to Canada just eight years ago, as we hosted what was a tremendously successful and standard-setting 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Canada Soccer said. “We welcome the opportunity to have the Women’s World Cup back on CONCACAF soil, giving our fans another chance to cheer on our women’s national team, at a World Cup, so close to home and in person. We look forward to welcoming the soccer world once again to Canada, as we continue to prepare to co-host the 2026 men’s World Cup.”
According to FIFA’s timeline, the world governing body will now send the Bidding Agreement (a document necessary to ensure that the key principles of the bidding process are observed) to the interested organization, who will then have until May 19, 2023 to return it and confirm their involvement.
“We are thrilled by the expressions of interest received, not least because they come from member associations with a strong football tradition representing four confederations, thus confirming the consistent popularity of women’s football across the world,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura. “All member associations can rely on the most robust and comprehensive bidding process in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
The appointment of the host(s) is due to be made by the FIFA Congress via public voting on May 17, 2024.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.