POSTED: March 21st 2015

FIFA major announcements for women's football; 2026 FIFA World Cup™ bid cycle

FIFA President Sepp Briefed the press on the Executive Committee decisions / FIFA
FIFA President Sepp Briefed the press on the Executive Committee decisions / FIFA

DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ / Sports Features Communications 

(SFC)  The FIFA Executive Committee completed its first meeting of the year in Zurich, Switzerland yesterday with a decision on dates for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar; updates on the progress of the plans for the 2015 Women's World Cup™ in Canada and the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia; and discussions on general management issues ranging from finances to disciplinary actions and political interferences.    

However it was additional news related to women's football that ended up being the focal point of the meeting - and welcomed news related to the bid process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™. 

Led by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee announced that the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup™, along with the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in 2018, will be hosted by France - who outlasted the other finalist the Korea Republic.  According to FIFA Executive Committee member Lydia Nsekera, "France and Korea Republic gave us two excellent bids.  It was a tough choice for the Executive Committee but one we could make with confidence.  We wish all the best to France and their preparation." 

Noël Le Graët, President of the French Football Association was most appreciative of the opportunity for France to host these prestigious events, commenting "I would like first of all to thank FIFA for this very important decision.  It is an opportunity for France to organize such an event and I want to express the happiness of the Federation, the whole country."

In addition to this announcement, Papua New Guinea was approved over Sweden to host the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in 2016.  Originally, South Africa was granted the bid to host this event, but announced their withdrawal from hosting before the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.   

The FIFA Executive Committee also announced that the bidding process to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will kick off in 2015, with the appointment of the hosts planned for the FIFA Congress in May 2017.  The bid process should be an interesting one, as FIFA's host selection policy does not allow any country to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™ if their continental confederation has not hosted either of the previous two World Cups.  

As a result of Russia hosting the 2018 event, and Qatar the 2022 tournament, no country that is part of The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or the Union of European Football Confederations (UEFA) can bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup™.  This sets up for a battle between the three North America countries - Canada, Mexico, and the United States - all who are interested in hosting the event.  Other potential bidders include Columbia from South America, and Morocco from Africa.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held in Zurich on 25 and 26 May 2015, ahead of the 65th FIFA Congress. 

**DR. ERIC C. SCHWARZ is a tenured Senior Lecturer of Sport Management at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia.  He has been an academician for 15 years in the areas of sport business management, international tourism, and hospitality management - with special focus on the areas of sport marketing, sport finance, tourism, and facility/event management.  He speaks globally and is the author of numerous publications in these areas, as well as been actively involved in consulting projects working with a multitude of sport and community organizations ranging from grassroots efforts to hallmark events.  

Keywords · OLympics · FIFA · Sepp Blatter · World Cup · football

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