Women’s World Cup identified as major tournament hosting target by UK


The Women’s World Cup has been identified as a major tournament the UK could aim to host in the next 15 years.

The competition has been listed as one of 70 major events the UK has aspirations of holding between now and 2040 to “help retain the UK’s position as a world-leading host nation”.

The 2031, 2035 or 2039 Women’s World Cups are the tournaments earmarked as potential targets.

The list of future major tournament hosting opportunities was announced by UK Sport, the government-funded agency responsible for investing in and supporting Olympic and Paralympic sport and leading major sporting event hosting.

The Men’s Rugby World Cup, the Athletics World Championships, the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Tour de France also feature on the list.

The Women’s World Cup is described by UK Sport as “the biggest global sporting event the UK has never hosted”.

The hosts for the 2027 Women’s World Cup will be decided in May 2024, and this will impact which future tournaments the UK can bid for.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have launched a joint bid to host the 10th edition of the tournament in 2027. They face opposition from South Africa, Brazil and a joint bid by Mexico and the United States.

 


Spain lifted the Women’s World Cup in 2023 (Casa de S.M. el Rey/Spanish Royal Household via Getty Images)

Should the bid from Belgium, Germany and Netherlands be successful, the UK will not be able to host the 2031 World Cup as two successive tournaments cannot be held in Europe. They would therefore have to wait until 2035.

Simon Morton, deputy CEO and director of events at UK Sport said: “Live sport is a fundamental part of this country’s social fabric.

“In the years ahead, we want to host a programme of live sport that resonates with the British public and makes a difference to millions of people’s lives. That programme has to be more accessible to people and communities across the country ensuring sport reaches as many fans as possible.”

England hosted the Men’s World Cup in 1966 and unsuccessfully bid to host the 2018 tournament. A joint United Kingdom and Ireland bid for the 2030 tournament was dropped in 2022, instead turning their attentions to the bid for Euro 2028, which was ultimately successful.

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England has twice hosted a senior women’s international major football tournament, staging the Euros in 2022 and 2005.

In May 2023, Football Association (FA) chair Debbie Hewitt confirmed England were considering launching a bid for the 2031 Women’s World Cup.

Hewitt, speaking to The Times, said: “We want to be known as a centre for successfully hosting major events.

“It has a hugely positive impact on the country and on local communities who participate, so why wouldn’t we have ambitions to host a Women’s World Cup, particularly as the women’s game is growing?

“You should always keep your mind’s eye on what’s the next one and what can we do to put ourselves in good shape, and the Women’s World Cup is a very attractive proposition.”

(Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)





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