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South Africa withdraws 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid, resets sights on 2031


South Africa has decided to withdraw its bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027, opting instead to focus on a more thoroughly prepared bid for the 2031 edition.

The South African Football Association (SAFRA) acknowledged the challenging timeframe for developing the 2027 bid and expressed a preference for presenting a well-prepared proposal in 2031 rather than delivering a rushed presentation to FIFA in December.

FIFA has set a deadline of December 8 for potential hosts to submit their plans, with the decision to be made at the governing body’s congress in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 17 next year.

“The time frame for developing the 2027 FIFA WWC bid has been challenging,” a SAFRA statement read.

“We felt it was better to present a well-prepared bid for the 2031 Women’s World Cup rather than producing a rushed presentation.”

Tumi Dlamini, chairperson of SA’s 2027 WWC bid, stated, “Football remains one of the most unifying sports in the world, and investing in women’s sports must continue to be a priority in South Africa.”

“Whilst I am saddened that South Africa has to pull out of the 2027 bid, I have no doubt that we will come back with a strong and compelling bid for the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup. South Africa’s efforts to invest in women’s sports will and must be a priority. We wish the rest of the bidding nations all of the best.”

The remaining candidates for the 2027 edition include joint bids from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, another joint bid by Mexico and the United States, and an individual submission from Brazil. Australia and New Zealand successfully hosted the 2023 Women’s World Cup earlier this year.

FIFA initiated the bidding process on March 23, with member nations given a deadline of April 19 to submit their expressions of interest. South Africa, which missed out on hosting the 2023 Women’s World Cup, aims to bring the event to Africa for the first time.

Brazil, a contender for 2027, has never hosted the Women’s World Cup but has hosted the men’s event twice. The US, bidding alongside Mexico, has previously hosted the Women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2003.

The 2027 Women’s World Cup will follow the men’s 2026 World Cup, co-hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico, and precede the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles. If the joint bid from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands is successful, it will mark the first time a Women’s World Cup has been staged across three countries.

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