Safa officials now have to put words into action after FIFA opens bidding for 2023 World Cup

20 February 2019 - 15:34 By Mark Gleeson
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis in a discussion with the SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis in a discussion with the SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan.
Image: Grant Pitcher

World football governing body FIFA have opened the bidding for the 2023 Women’s World

The SA Football Association (Safa) boss Danny Jordaan just two months ago said the country wanted to host the tournament in the wake of Banyana Banyana’s qualification for this year’s finals in France.

“In 1994 the USA hosted the men’s World Cup and they hosted the women’s World Cup in 1999‚” said Jordaan at the time.

“In 2006 Germany hosted the men’s World Cup and in 2011 they hosted the women’s World Cup.

"South Africa hosted the 2010 edition and it’s now our time.”

FIFA began the process on Tuesday with a letter to all member association inviting bids for the tournament.

South Africa will have less than a month to submit a completed expression of interest form to FIFA at the start of a bidding process that will take a year before the hosting decision is made in March next year.

That will leave the appointed host just three years to organise the tournament‚ as opposed to the minimum seven years that the hosts of the men’s World Cup get.

It also means FIFA are therefore only going to choose a country with a significant footballing infrastructure‚ giving South Africa a good chance.

Hosting the tournament in Africa would also significantly boost FIFA’s efforts to double the number of female players to 60 million by 2026.

What will count against South Africa is the perception that there will not be enough spectators.

Safa must send their completed expression of interest form to FIFA by March 15.

After that FIFA will dispatch the bidding registration and overview document and interested hosts have until April 16 to complete and return to it.

The next step is the submission of a bid book‚ the signed hosting agreement and all other hosting documents to FIFA by October 4.

The FIFA Council will make the choice of the hosts in March 2020.

There has also been an expression of interest from the USA to host the tournament‚ which represents a formidable opponent in any bidding race.

“Interest in women’s football continues to grow and following this year’s Women’s World Cup in France‚ it is certain to reach an all-time high‚” said FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman.

“FIFA believes that women’s football still has even more potential for growth and we look forward to receiving hosting submissions for the Women’s World Cup 2023‚ to see how potential host countries will aim to promote the ultimate competition in women’s football‚ and create a sustainable legacy that will inspire upcoming generations of young girls and women to get involved in the game.”

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