The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 hosted by France, brought a record amount of viewers globally for this tournament. To keep the energy flowing in in women’s soccer, FIFA announced that the match scheduled for 2023 will now expand and allow 32 teams to participate. This unanimous decision was made during a remote meeting ahead of a formal meeting scheduled for later on in the year in Shanghai.
Playing on the Same Level as the Men’s Teams
Already during 1998, it was decided that 32 teams are allowed to participate during the Men’s Soccer World Cup. The announcement of FIFA this week to bring the same amount of participating organizations to the Women’s Cup is proof of the continuous growth in the sport. During 1991, the year that the tournament debuted, a mere 12 teams were participating. That number has grown since then to 24 during the most recent event. With allowing more teams to join, so many more women dedicated to the sport are now able to compete on an international level. This is also resulting in many more professional clubs having a goal to work towards. Many teams can now start to prepare themselves to train for qualifying for the tournament. It will ensure that the sport not only develops better infrastructure but also harness greater possibilities for improving the performance of these athletes.
Improving the Playing Situation of Women on International Level
The decision made by FIFA is reflecting a positive notion from their side to enhance female athletes’ possibilities in the international playing field. Earlier this year, before the start of the tournament, there were already active requests to level the playing fields between both genders regarding wages and prize money. Since then, many teams have been able to secure better wages for female groups. They often have still less playtime than their male counterparts. The reasoning behind this was generally that the Women’s events don’t create the same kind of revenue as the men’s events. With the Women’s Cup now growing, this should change too.
A Larger Event Brings Different Hosting Needs
FIFA was expecting nine countries to bid on hosting the 2023 event. Thus far eight has placed their bids, including Australia, Argentina, South Korea, South Africa, Columbia, Bolivia, Japan and New Zealand. FIFA confirmed that during the month, these countries would be informed regarding the adjusted requirements concerning the more substantial scale event. Countries which feel that they want to withdraw their bids due to the scale of the game are also free to do so. The bidding process will close during December this year and during May 2020 FIFA will announce the country which is awarded the honour of hosting the event. Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, expressed his satisfaction with the decision made. He is stating that this will only be the first effort of more to come to enhance the game.