ZURICH: Belgium has become a late addition to the line-up of bids pursuing host rights to the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

This followed the decision by FIFA Council to increase the number of teams taking part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ from 24 to 32 as of 2023 and the subsequent reopening of the bidding process.

This means that a total of 10 member associations have expressed interest in hosting the event – an unprecedented number.

By submitting an expression of interest, the Belgian Football Association has joined the following nine MAs that were already participating in the bidding process:

·  Argentinian Football Association

·  Football Federation Australia

·  Bolivian Football Association

·  Brazilian Football Association

·  Colombian Football Association

·  Japan Football Association

·  Korea Football Association (expressing interest in a joint bid with DPR Korea Football Association)

·  New Zealand Football

·  South African Football Association

A FIFA statement said:

All 10 MAs have received the overview of the bidding process (including updated high-level hosting requirements) and will have until 2 September 2019 to confirm their participation. Furthermore, up until the deadline for bid submissions, any member association wishing to join an existing bid will be permitted to do so provided that it also submits a bidding registration to FIFA.

This is the timeline:

3 September 2019: FIFA to dispatch the bidding and hosting documents (including updated detailed hosting requirements) to bidding member associations

13 December 2019: submission of the bid book, the signed hosting agreement and all other hosting and bidding documents to FIFA

January/February 2020: expected official inspection visits by FIFA

May 2020: expected appointment date of the host(s) by FIFA Council (open voting).