World football’s governing body FIFA says eight countries remain in the bidding contest to host the first expanded 32-team Women’s World Cup in 2023.
The interested nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea, the Zurich-based federation said on Tuesday. Belgium and Bolivia have dropped out.
FIFA reports it has sent “the updated bidding and hosting documents” to the eight member federations. Detailed bid plans for the first 32-team tournament are due by December 13.
The Korean bid, notes The Associated Press, could still be a joint project with North Korea.
All candidates will be evaluated in January and February ahead of a FIFA Council vote scheduled for May.
The tournament's expansion was promised by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the end of this summer’s World Cup, which was won for a record fourth time by the United States.
Interest in the women's game continues to grow. Broadcast records were broken around the world during the June-July football tournament.