US and Mexico withdraw 2027 Women’s World Cup bid – leaving Brazil favourites

Marta celebrates Brazil's first goal during the 2019 Women's World Cup match against Italy
Brazil are now in pole position to host the first Women's World Cup in South America - Getty Images

The United States and Mexico have withdrawn their joint bid to host 2027’s Women’s World Cup, stating that they will focus their efforts on trying to host the 2031 tournament instead.

The announcement from US Soccer and the Mexican Football Federation came less than three weeks before the Fifa Congress will vote to appoint the 2027 hosts on 17 May in Bangkok, Thailand.

Their decision leaves just two bids remaining: The now clear favourite, Brazil, and a joint bid from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The Women’s World Cup, which was most recently held in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, has never previously been staged in South America.

All 211 member associations of the world’s governing body will have a vote at the Fifa Congress on the appointment of the hosts. Many sources are anticipating that some element of continental block voting is a strong possibility. That was the case for the 2023 host vote – albeit that decision was made by a much smaller voting group, the Fifa Council – when each of the confederation’s representatives voted in unison with their geographical neighbours.

In recent years, European football’s biggest voting ally has been South America, but most of the Conmebol nations will be very likely to support the Brazilian bid, which would see the competition make its debut on the continent. The Brazilian bid is also understood to be popular across much of Africa and the Concacaf nations, covering North and Central America as well as the Caribbean.

Brazil, which most recently staged the men’s version of the World Cup in 2014, has proposed to stage the women’s final at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium.

In deferring their bid to 2031, the US and Mexico said in a joint statement: “In a historic first, the [2031] bid will call for equal investment as the men’s tournament, eliminating investment disparities to fully maximise the commercial potential of the women’s tournament.

“The revised bid will allow US Soccer to build on the learnings and success of the 2026 [men’s] World Cup, better support our host cities, expand our partnerships and media deals, and further engage with our fans so we can host a record-breaking tournament in 2031.”

Along with Canada, the US and Mexico are hosting 2026’s men’s World Cup, which will be the first, expanded 48-team tournament.

Ivar Sisniega, president of Mexico’s football federation, added: “After careful analysis we feel that moving our bid back to 2031 will allow us to promote and build up to the most successful Women’s World Cup ever.

“The strength and universality of our professional women’s leagues, coupled with our experience from organising the 2026 World Cup, means that we will be able to provide the best infrastructure as well as an enthusiastic fan base that will make all the participating teams feel at home and to put together a World Cup that will contribute to the continued growth of women’s football.”

The holders of the women’s trophy are Spain, following their victory over England in last August’s final in Sydney.

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