Brazil has been named the host for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with FIFA announced early Friday. 

The decision came after a vote at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, with Brazil earning 119 votes to the joint European bid’s 78. 

This will be Brazil’s first time hosting the Women’s World Cup, with the country having hosted the men’s World Cup twice before in 1950 and 2014. It will also be the first Women’s World Cup held in South America. The tournament will follow the same 32-team format as the 2023 WWC in Australia and New Zealand.

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Brazil winning the bid was not entirely surprising after FIFA issued a report just last week, stating that the Brazilian bid had pulled ahead as host following technical inspection. After evaluation, Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5, compared to the 3.7 awarded to the Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. Though considered to be a frontrunner, the US and Mexico withdrew their joint bid prior to the technical inspection period, saying they would instead focus their efforts on 2031.

On Friday, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues called it a "victory." 

"We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women's soccer and for women," he told reporters. "You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women."

"We are working on a transformation, not only for the country but for the continent," added bid team operational manager Valesca Araujo.

Brazil intends to use 10 of the venues utilized at the 2014 men’s World Cup, including holding the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 25th. The CBF's proposal outlines that the 2027 tournament run from June 24th through the end of July. Last summer’s World Cup began at the end of July and concluded on August 19th.

Another notable element of Brazil's newly unveiled plan to grow of the women’s game is that "all [men’s] clubs wishing to take part in high-level national and continental competitions must now provide a structure for a women’s team." While the definition of "structure" was not specifically identified, the country has set targets with CONMEBOL to help increase the number of women’s club teams in the country.

In last week's inspection findings, FIFA noted that selecting Brazil as the next WWC host could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

Brazil has officially become the favorite to host the 2027 Women's World Cup after FIFA’s technical inspection team awarded them a higher rating than the joint European bid. 

After the US and Mexico dropped out of the running last month, the bid from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands had previously been pegged to win hosting rights for the next Women's World Cup. But FIFA's latest report shows that Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5 in its technical evaluation, besting the European contender's score of 3.7.

Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. The country is aiming to reuse 10 of the venues used for the 2014 Men's World Cup in 2027, with the final set to take place in Rio de Janeiro. 

"The Bid Evaluation Report reflects the comprehensive evaluation model that has become a hallmark of FIFA’s enhanced bidding processes for men’s and women’s flagship events, which incorporates a variety of criteria, ranging from event vision and key metrics, infrastructure, services, commercial aspects, and sustainability and human rights," FIFA wrote in a press release.

The report also highlighted the fact that this would be the first Women's World Cup in South America, noting that the decision could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

Should the EU bid win, it wouldn't be the first WWC in Europe, as Germany played host to the event in 2011 before France in 2019. There could also be further complications for the Germany-Belgium-Netherlands bid: In its report, the evaluation team regarded the bid's legal and contractual framework as "high-risk."

FIFA has promised more planning time for the 2031 Women's World Cup. While the Men's World Cup hosts have already been secured through 2034, the WWC is only three years away with a host yet to be named.

The final vote is set to take place at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok on May 17th. It will be the first time FIFA determines a World Cup host via an open vote.

The U.S. Soccer Federation, in conjunction with the Mexico Football Federation, submitted a joint bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup on Friday.

The bid’s tagline is “NEW HEIGHTS,” which includes a collective vision to “deliver a tournament with the world’s greatest players playing on world-class pitches in sold-out stadiums.”

As part of the bid, USSF cites infrastructure that “is already in place – including training facilities, match venues, base camps and travel accommodations – to deliver an excellent on-field product and top-level performance throughout the entirety of the tournament.”

In a release, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone called it a “pivotal time for women’s soccer.”

“Around the world, Federations are beginning to invest more and more in the women’s game and records are being rewritten for revenue, viewership, and participation,” Parlow Cone said. “The U.S. and Mexico are in a unique position to host a World Cup that will leverage the same venues, infrastructure, and protocols used for the Men’s World Cup just a year prior.

“As a result, we believe the time is right to host a FIFA Women’s World Cup that features a truly world-class experience for players and fans, alike. This will not only unlock the economic potential of women’s soccer, it will send a message to young players around the world that there is no limit to what they can achieve.”

The U.S. is set to host the 2026 Men’s World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada. The bid for the women’s tournament will utilize “key efficiencies” from that event to help their iteration of the event.

U.S. Soccer had previously announced their intention to submit a bid alongside Mexico. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands submitted their bid on Friday, the deadline to do so, as well. Brazil had previously submitted their bid.

South Africa had put in a bid, but withdrew it in November.

There are still some obstacles in the way of a World Cup being played in the U.S. and Mexico, though. The World Cup has never been hosted by a South American country, making Brazil a high-quality bidder for the tournament. Germany, meanwhile, hosted a World Cup in 2011 and splitting the games between three countries would provide the infrastructure needed for the tournament.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are submitting a bid to FIFA to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the countries’ football associations said Friday.

Brazil submitted their bid to host last month, while the United States and Mexico have also expressed interest.

Friday is the deadline for member associations to submit their bids to FIFA. South Africa had also submitted a bid, but withdrew that last month in favor of presenting a “well-prepared bid” for the 2031 World Cup.

“Extensive and detailed consultations between the three federations along with key stakeholders including central governments dates back to 2021,” the Dutch football federation (KNVB) said in a statement. “This has led to alignment around the belief that our three countries are well placed to stage a FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027 of unparalleled quality and impact.”

Bid cities for the countries’ bid include Brussels, the capital of Belgium; Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands; as well as Düsseldorf and Cologne Germany.

FIFA will conduct on-site inspection visits to bidding countries in February. FIFA Congress will then appoint the 2027 World Cup hosts in May.

Germany has hosted the Women’s World Cup once before, back in 2011, after having won the 2003 and 2007 editions of the World Cup.

This year, Australia and New Zealand hosted the World Cup, which was won by Spain.

South Africa withdrew its bid to host the 2027 World Cup on Friday, citing issues with the time frame for preparation for the event. 

“The time frame for developing the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid has been challenging. This does not diminish our commitment to women’s football, and has instead strengthened our commitment to produce a strong South African women’s team for 2031, and a compelling bid for the same tournament,” the South African Football Association said in a statement. 

The remaining countries in the race to host the tournament include Brazil, a joint bid from Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands, and a joint bid from the United States and Mexico. 

The U.S. hosted World Cups in 1999 and 2003 — the 2003 tournament was supposed to take place in China, but the SARS outbreak forced FIFA to move the games out of the country. 

There are still some obstacles in the way of a World Cup being played in the U.S. and Mexico, though. The World Cup has never been hosted by a South American country, making Brazil a high-quality bidder for the tournament. Germany hosted a World Cup in 2011 and splitting the games between three countries would provide the infrastructure needed for the tournament. 

The 2023 World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand was the first of the women’s tournaments to be held in two countries. The United States and Mexico would be pulling for a similar bid. And with a new head coach at the helm and a new-look team, the U.S. could host a new generation of national and international talent.

The NWSL has agreed to new TV rights deals, according to a report in Sportico.

The league has agreed to four-year contracts with ESPN, CBS, Amazon and Scripps, according to the report. The deals, expected to be signed in the coming weeks, run through the 2027 World Cup.

The financial details of the deals are unknown, but in the streaming era, live sports have never been more valuable to networks.

The NWSL’s current deal, with CBS, is worth $1.5 million but comes with a caveat: the league is required to pay for production, which is an eight-figure expense.

As the women’s game continues to gain popularity around the country, spurred by the success of the U.S. Women’s National Team, more money is flowing into the NWSL. It’s most valued team, Angel City FC (valued at $180 million) is on par with some MLS clubs.

By signing deals with multiple partners, the NWSL would allow for its games to be viewed by even more fans than just those with CBS.

The NWSL regular season is wrapping up next week, with the postseason scheduled to start Oct. 22 and the 2023 NWSL Championship set for Nov. 11.

The U.S. women’s national team bowed out in the Round of 16 of the 2023 World Cup, but some good news might be headed the Americans’ way.

The U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexican Football Association, in a joint bid, are one of four groups still in the running to host the 2027 World Cup, FIFA has announced. The hosts will be named in May 2024.

Three other bids also remain in contention: The Brazilian Football Association, the South African Football Association, and, in a three-way expression of interest, the Royal Belgian Football Association, the Royal Netherlands Football Association and the German Football Association.

The U.S. last hosted a World Cup in 2003, after a severe outbreak of SARS in China forced FIFA to move from its originally scheduled host. Germany beat Sweden in the final, while the USWNT took third place. The U.S. also hosted the 1999 World Cup, clinching the title over China with Brandi Chastain’s dramatic penalty kick goal.

The 1994 men’s World Cup took place in the United States, and the 2026 men’s tournament will be held across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

By 2027, the USWNT will have a different feel, with a new head coach and without several national heroes, including Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz, who have announced their retirements. The program will be looking to atone for its performance in this year’s World Cup, when it suffered its earliest ever exit.

And the players might get the opportunity to pursue redemption in front of their home fans.

Opponents should be afraid of what the U.S. women’s national team is capable of accomplishing at the 2027 World Cup, or so USWNT forward Midge Purce believes.

This year’s squad flamed out in the Round of 16, a historically disappointing World Cup run capped off by a 238-minute scoring drought. Uncharacteristic as the early exit was, young stars provided bright spots — particularly Naomi Girma at center-back.

The USWNT defense allowed just two shots on goal across the entire tournament. And Girma played a key role on that backline, proving that she has more than earned her roster spot at just 23 years old.

“She is class. She makes it look so, so easy,” Purce said after Sunday’s shootout loss to Sweden. “She’s so good. I mean, she was phenomenal, and I’m so happy for her. I’m so sad for her, yeah, but she has such a bright future.”

Yes, some onlookers are hitting the panic button on the USWNT in the aftermath of the World Cup elimination. A number of veterans are retiring or nearing the ends of their careers, and the squad inevitably will look different in the years to come.

But that’s not a reason to panic, and this isn’t the end of the story, Purce told her co-host Katie Nolan on the latest episode of Just Women’s Sports‘ “The 91st.” Purce missed out on the World Cup with a quad injury, but she has been an avid follower of the team’s journey.

“I think it’s so interesting the way we look at World Cups and big tournaments as if that tournament is the end of the movie, there’s nothing else to be seen,” Purce said. “This is a long journey. It’s a long story. These kids [are] probably gonna have three or four World Cups under their belt. And it’s the next one that I think everyone should be terrified for.

“They have a chip on their shoulder. They have broken hearts, they’re hurting. It’s hard and they’re good, they’re better than what they got. They’ve put out better performances individually than what they’ve received. … So I just think that there’s so much more to be excited for on the landscape of U.S women’s soccer. It’s going to be incredible.”

Players aged 23 and younger accounted for almost a quarter of the USWNT’s minutes in this World Cup, including Girma, who played every minute of all four games. Sophia Smith, 22, and Trinity Rodman, 20, also were staples in the starting lineup.

“They all started. They’re gonna be foundational players for this team moving forward,” Nolan said. “[The] silver lining [is] we have a lot of young players on this team. Talent-wise, the pool is deep for years to come.”

Of course, nothing is guaranteed at the 2027 World Cup. And the team has the 2024 Olympics in Paris up next. But USWNT defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who missed the 2023 tournament with a foot injury, is looking forward to seeing how players respond to the disappointment of losing the World Cup.

“I think for a lot of the players it’s going to be this, like, driving fuel that they use in preparation for the Olympics,” Sauerbrunn said. “And in the past, historically with this team, if we don’t win a World Cup we wind up winning the Olympics or vice versa. So I think and what I’m hoping to see is that there’s just this drive to be better, to improve the areas that maybe players feel that they struggled in.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting to see how overall, [from the] top down, how leadership approaches tactics and formations and the future. There’s this huge influx of youth and you start phasing out some of us older players. It’ll be interesting to see and I’m excited for the future because I think we already know that we have such a strong core of players and now it’s just complimenting them.”

The United States will join with Mexico in a bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Wednesday evening.

If the countries win the hosting rights, the U.S. and Mexico would play host to the Men’s World Cup in 2026 and the Women’s World Cup in 2027. And then the U.S. would play host to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028.

Also in contention for the tournament are Brazil (which announced its bid last month), South Africa, as well as Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in another joint bid. FIFA is expected to announce its choice in May 2024, according to USSF.

“I think that this is a great time. We haven’t hosted a World Cup in 24 years, and so to bring it back and to have ’26 followed by ’27 I think speaks great to our region and trying to grow our region,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said ahead of Wednesday’s USMNT match against Mexico. “I know we have Concacaf behind us. We didn’t want to do the bid alone, so we reached out to Mexico and they jumped right in.”

The U.S. previously hosted the Women’s World Cup in 1999 and in 2003. The 1999 tournament in particular stands out as a pivotal moment for bringing attention and investment to the women’s game.

When asked about the prospect of hosting the World Cup, OL Reign coach Laura Harvey pointed to the growth the U.S. could see in player development.

“Obviously, everyone talks about the ’99 World Cup and how impactful that was on women’s soccer in this country. So to think that we can have it again here would be phenomenal,” she said. “And I think with the explosion of the NWSL in the last year or so, it would be quite fitting that in four years time, we could have the biggest showpiece in the game.”

Harvey, who is from England but has coached the USWNT U-20 squad and as an assistant coach for the senior team, noted that she thinks the U.S. has “done a really good job” of ensuring that players have a pathway to elite-level soccer.

“Having something like the World Cup in your home country, I think it just elevates what you want it to look like,” she continued. “Thinking about having a World Cup in 2027 and thinking who could be part of that, obviously you’re seeing the likes of Alyssa Thompson and Jaedyn Shaw, and all those guys who are already in the league.

“I think it would just even more shine a light on us as a league, and making sure that we continue to grow and develop.”