Let the offers start.
The United States Women’s National Soccer Team will defend its 2019 World Cup title in one of five countries in 2023. Brazil, who hosted the 2016 debt ridden Summer Olympics, Japan, who is hosting a very expensive Summer Olympics starting in July, and Columbia have made solo bids for the 2023 event. Australia and New Zealand will make a joint bid. The era of good feeling between North Korea and South Korea, which International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach claimed was partially his doing, is over. North Korea and South Korea are going separate ways and there will not be a joint bid. FIFA, the governing body of global soccer, is now reviewing the bids and will award the 2023 event later this year.
FIFA sees a cash cow. The 2023 Women’s World Cup event. FIFA is expanding the number of teams from 24 to 32 for the 2023 tournament. and requested that countries that originally bid for the 24-team championship to resubmit a host proposal. Some bidders dropped out. There is money to be made from countries, marketing partners and people who might have interest in traveling somewhere to watch the FIFA event. Whether there are 32 capable squads that can play competitively is another question and probably not even in the conversation. FIFA can point to the growing popularity of Women’s World Cup Soccer and talk about how important the growth of women’s soccer is globally. But there is business before pleasure and the business of FIFA is extracting money from host countries to build facilities and sell tickets to clients or rather luxury boxes and club seats to well-heeled customers. The addition of eight squads means host countries have to find more hotel rooms and probably more practice facilities and charge more for marketing partners locally to throw money into the tournament.