FIFA confirms 4 in 2027 Women’s World Cup hosting race

ZURICH (AP) — Four contenders are competing to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, FIFA confirmed on Monday, days after the joint United States-Mexico bid entered the race.

Brazil, South Africa and the European project teaming Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands were previously announced as intended candidates trying to win a vote scheduled for May next year.

All four projects come from countries “with a strong football tradition,” FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said in a statement.

Germany, South Africa and Brazil hosted three straight editions of the men’s World Cup from 2006 to 2014, and the 2026 men’s edition will be played in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

The potential hosts met a first FIFA deadline last week and must sign a bidding agreement by May 19. FIFA wants the official bid plan documents by Dec. 8.

At least one of the four should be left off the official ballot paper.

FIFA previously said its 37-member ruling council chaired by president Gianni Infantino will pick up to three bids later in the campaign to go on the ballot for a vote by more than 200 member federations.

The host will be picked on May 17 next year at the annual FIFA Congress where each member’s vote will be published. The venue for that meeting has not yet been announced.

The member federations in the contest should attend the 2023 tournament in July and August, being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The 2027 tournament is likely to have 32 teams playing a total of 64 games, though FIFA has not confirmed the tournament format. The 2019 edition in France and won by the United States had 24 teams. ___ More AP soccer: and

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