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Bidding for the 2027 Women’s World Cup: Tough competition for the Europeans from America

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Bidding for the 2027 Women’s World Cup: Tough competition for the Europeans from America

As of: February 5, 2024 1:38 p.m

German women’s football can really use any boost right now. Nevertheless, DFB President Bernd Neuendorf couldn’t drum loudly when an important milestone was set last week for the joint bid with Belgium and the Netherlands for the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

The five-day inspection trip by a high-ranking FIFA delegation was expressly planned without media exposure, although the world association wants to take this tournament to new dimensions.

DFB General Secretary Heike Ullrich, who, as the former director of women’s football, was deeply involved in the subject, had already said when the so-called bid book was submitted at the beginning of December that the requirements were “absolutely at the level of a men’s World Cup – and that’s a good thing.” Germany has signed 89 contracts with far-reaching guarantees and assurances because: “They think big in all areas.”

A German city could still be excluded

From last Monday (January 29, 2024) to Friday (February 2, 2024), the eleven-member FIFA delegation with a lot of specialist staff and high-ranking officials from the German, Belgian (RBFA) and Dutch associations (KNVB) got a detailed picture of what was planned Stadiums, training facilities, team hotels and fan festivals in the border triangle.

From Düsseldorf we went to the stadium in Dortmund and then to the football museum; This was followed by visits to the arenas in Düsseldorf, Brussels and Eindhoven. The KNVB, as the initiator of the application, led through its campus in Zeist and then through the arena in Amsterdam.

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The FIFA delegation on its inspection tour

Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Cologne have been named as German venues, but similar to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, FIFA will probably ultimately reduce the number of venues to ten. A German city could still slip through the shaking screen, as Belgium also has four and the Netherlands have even registered five venues.

South Africa’s withdrawal is an opportunity

Since South Africa withdrew its application, there has been a lack of a “very, very strong competitor” (Ullrich) who would have been given the greatest chances for sports policy reasons. Now the Europeans are voting against Brazil and the double application from the USA and Mexico at the FIFA Congress on May 17th in Bangkok. It is clear that the votes cast by delegates from Africa and Asia tip the scales.

The FIFA inspection tours in Brazil as well as the USA and Mexico are still pending. Overall, the world association is obviously interested in a transparent award process – unlike the 2030 Men’s World Cup, which was planned in obscure ways and which is likely to be followed four years later by a final round in Saudi Arabia that can hardly be prevented.

The world association has made the application dossiers public, and the same should happen with the evaluation reports. Europe’s application is summarized under the slogan “BNG”: stands for “Breaking New Ground” and the first letters of the three nations.

“The goal is a local tournament with a global impact that not only meets the requirements and goals set out in the FIFA specifications in all areas, but also, if possible, exceeds them,” said Neuendorf with his counterparts Pascale Van Damme (Belgium) and Just Spee ( Netherlands) in a statement after the inspection trip on Friday (02/02/2024).

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Sustainability is a bargaining chip in the application

“We have to be so good that the FIFA family can’t ignore us,” said Patrick Kisko, who is responsible for the application process. The DFB department head, who was already involved in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, is promoting a tournament that will be hospitable for players and fans, safe and, above all, more compact than ever before.

The radius between the venues is just 150 kilometers, making air travel unnecessary because everything can be reached by bus or train. Teams and fans can live in one place. The CO2 footprint is minimized.

The 2027 Women’s World Cup would thus provide an environmentally conscious counterpoint, because, as with the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, huge distances will have to be bridged by plane for the 2026 Men’s World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Brazil, the USA and Mexico would have the same problem again in 2027.

The USA and Mexico are promising three billion dollars

But the aspect of sustainability is only one thing. The other thing is finances. The offer from the USA and Mexico promises proceeds of three billion US dollars. This would be possible thanks to the rapid growth of women’s football, write the organizers.

That would be an incredibly high sum in the women’s sector. For comparison: At the 2023 World Cup, the company reached profitability for the first time with record revenue of $570 million, to the great delight of FIFA impresario Gianni Infantino.

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The “BNG” association also emphasizes the commercial potential. “This aims to set new standards in terms of revenue from the sale of media rights, sponsorship and ticket sales,” it says.

It is precisely stated that between 2.2 and 2.5 million tickets will be sold, which will cost between 20 and 125 euros from the group phase to the final. But with the best will in the world, you cannot and will not promise three billion dollars in revenue. There can’t be that many spurts for women’s football in the next three years.

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