The Women’s World Cup might be an even bigger affair in 2023. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Sunday that FIFA is looking to expand the Women’s World Cup from 24 teams to 32 teams, according to the Associated Press.
That doesn’t mean it will happen the next time the Women’s World Cup takes place, though. There are still hoops to jump through in order to get it done, according to the AP.
If the expansion was to start for the next edition in 2023, Infantino says FIFA would have to re-open the bidding process which has yet to conclude. The vote was due to take place in March 2020 but the FIFA Council decision could now be delayed.
Infantino also expressed a desire to invest more money in women’s soccer, according to BBC.
He also plans to double a planned $500 [million] (£400 million) investment in women's football in the next four years, saying FIFA has unprecedented levels of reserves and "we don't need all that money in Swiss banks - they have enough."
Those proposals were part of a five-point plan laid out by Infantino.
While all of that sounds positive, there are some who believe expanding the Women’s World Cup will lead to more frequent blowouts. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl addressed that issue after receiving comments from concerned fans who don’t want to see any more 13-0 games.
People who cite Thailand 13-0 as a reason for not expanding the WWC to 32 teams don't get it. That was an outlier in the most competitive WWC ever. Expansion incentivizes more nations to invest in making the WWC and improving. An outlier blowout is a small price for the benefits.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 5, 2019
Though Infantino wants to increase the prize pool for the Women’s World Cup, the figure would fall short of the men’s tournament. Under Infantino’s proposal, the women’s prize pool would jump to $100 million. The men will have a $440 million prize pool in 2022.
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