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France to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019

India Women's National Team
India Women's National Team

Picture courtesy: AIFF Media

France has been awarded the hosting rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 ahead of Korea Republic, who was also in the running.

The announcement was made today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich during a ceremony led by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and Lydia Nsekera, member of the FIFA Executive Committee.

The two bid teams were represented by Noël Le Graët, President of the French Football Association, and Chung Mong-gyu, President of the Korea Football Association.

The announcement followed a unanimous decision taken by the FIFA Executive Committee today.

Initially, five countries declared their interest in hosting the events – England, France, Korea Republic, New Zealand and South Africa – before the field narrowed down to two by October 2014, when France and Korea Republic submitted their official bid documents to FIFA.

The criteria for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ bids covered a range of areas including cost efficiency, promotion, the potential for creating an innovative and meaningful national football legacy programme, the support and involvement of the football community, the existing infrastructure and viability of projects to improve it, as well as private and public support.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ has been held every four years since 1991, with the 7th edition due to be played in Canada from 6 June to 5 July 2015.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ is the biggest single-sport event played by women. The number of participants in the qualifiers has almost tripled from 45 teams in 1991 to 128 in 2015 and the number of qualification matches risen considerably from 110 in 1991 to 398 in 2015.

Canada 2015 will be another leap forward as it expands to 24 teams, eight more than previous tournament and 12 more than when it first started in 1991 in China, reflecting the increased levels of participation as well as the higher standards across all age groups.

Japan are the current world champions and were the first team from outside Europe and North America to achieve this feat. The six editions so far have had four different winners: Germany (twice), Japan,Norway and the USA (twice).