Zurich: From the next edition onwards of the FIFA Women`s World Cup, 32 teams will take part in the prestigious quadrennial event.
On Wednesday, the FIFA Council unanimously agreed to a proposal to expand the number of teams taking part in World Cup from 24 to 32. The new-format quadrennial tournament will have eight groups of four teams.
"The astounding success of this year`s FIFA Women`s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women`s football," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
"The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams; it means that, from now on, dozens of more member associations will organize their women`s football program knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying," he added.
FIFA has also updated the hosting requirements and the timeline of the bidding process for 2023. Current bidding member associations have to reconfirm their interest in bidding in August, while any other eligible member associations can express their interest in bidding.
After the deadline for bid submission in December, the publication of Bid Evaluation Report is expected in April 2020, with an expected appointment of hosts the following month.
In the inaugural Women`s World Cup in 1991, 12 teams participated before the number of teams rose to 16 in 1999 and 24 in 2015. In the recently concluded Women`s World Cup, US defeated Netherlands 2-0 in the finals to come out as victors for the second time in a row.