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.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Just Women’s Sports (@justwomenssports)

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."

FIFA has set the dates for the first edition of the Women’s Club World Cup.

The first Women's Club World Cup will take place in January-February 2026, with the 16-team tournament held every four years after that, FIFA said in Wednesday's statement. Initial plans to introduce a Women’s Club World Cup were revealed in May 2021 by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who then called it was part of a plan to "revolutionize" the women’s game.

"It’s crucial, after the huge, huge success in Australia and New Zealand at the last [FIFA] Women's World Cup, where we had two million viewers in the stadiums [and] two billion around the world, that we build on that success to create new global competitions, because national team football is obviously based on club football as well," Infantino said following today's FIFA Council meeting, which occurred in advance of the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok.

The council additionally unanimously approved a new international match calendar with a focus on increased opportunities for rest and recovery for both players and coaches. The overloaded calendar in the women’s game has been a growing point of contention for players as the number of injuries — specifically ACL injuries — continue to rise.

Between summer international tournaments and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain European teams had to contend with the possibility of extremely condensed playing demands. That meant balancing workloads between the 2020 Olympics (held in 2021), 2022 European Championships, 2023 Women's World Cup, 2024 Olympics, and another Euros in 2025. 

When England failed to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics in December 2023, captain Leah Williamson told the Telegraph that she and her teammates were actually a bit relieved to have the summer off.

"It's horrendous that one of the first things that popped into my head about the Olympics was, 'at least they'll probably all get another two or three years on their career now, because they'll get a summer off,'" she said. "Everyone needs a rest and now they'll get one.

"Nowadays we get to October and girls are saying, 'I'm tired,' because you're carrying so much from the previous season. We are driving ourselves into the ground with it, so some sort of solution needs to be found soon, in terms of the schedule, otherwise it's not sustainable."

It should be said that the international schedule doesn’t include club responsibilities. The NWSL season kicked off this year with a number of players sidelined due to injuries picked up while playing for their national squads. This was an issue for Gotham FC, whose coach Juan Carlos Amorós called out the international schedule after USWNT forward Midge Purce suffered an ACL tear after competing in the Concacaf Women's Gold Cup.

"We lost Midge during the game which for me is a bittersweet flavor," Amorós told reporters after Purce exited Gotham's March 24th match against Portland. "By the way, it’s another player that came from the Gold Cup. Last week, it was Debinha. We are paying the consequences of a tournament that shouldn’t have happened.

"We’re talking about protecting the players, [who shouldn't] go to play an international competition after one week of preseason. We’ve seen the consequences now. We’ve got Rose, Lynn, last week it was Debinha in Kansas [City] and now we have Midge. From my experience, the clubs are going to keep paying for that competition."

On Wednesday, Infantino said that rectifying the international match calendar is another step in enhancing the level of competition across the board.

"The Women's International Match Calendar and the subsequent amendments to our regulations represent an important milestone in our pledge to take the women's game to the next level by enhancing competitiveness across the world," he said.

"This calendar is such a critical tool to ensure we continue to drive global professionalization of women’s football," added FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Dame Sarai Bareman in a statement. "In many parts of the world, international football provides crucial top-flight playing opportunities for female players, and this is particularly the case in nations where domestic leagues are not yet fully professional. This calendar strikes a balance to enable the domestic and international games to grow side by side, while at the same time ensuring players will have more opportunities to rest, recover, and re-train between windows and following major tournaments."

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 United States and Mexico have withdrawn their joint bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, per a Monday afternoon release from U.S. Soccer and the Mexican Football Federation.

According to the statement, they will instead focus on developing a "more equitable" bid for the 2031 tournament, with the ultimate goal of "eliminating investment disparities" between the men’s and women’s tournaments.

The federations went on to cite the upcoming 2026 Men’s World Cup in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as an opportunity to build support for local infrastructure, improve audience engagement, and scale up media and partnership deals in preparation to "host a record-breaking tournament in 2031."

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Just Women’s Sports (@justwomenssports)

"Hosting a World Cup tournament is a huge undertaking — and having additional time to prepare allows us to maximize its impact across the globe," said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. "Shifting our bid will enable us to host a record-breaking Women’s World Cup in 2031 that will help to grow and raise the level of the women’s game both here at home as well as across the globe."

The decision leaves just Brazil and a joint bid from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands in the running for the 2027 host spot. Brazil — the rumored frontrunner — has never hosted a Women’s World Cup, while Germany hosted the 2011 tournament as a solo venture. 

Furthermore, this postponement doesn’t mean the U.S. is a shoo-in for 2031, as it's been previously reported that 2022 UEFA Women's EURO host England is considering their own Women's World Cup bid. FIFA is scheduled to confirm the winning bid after the FIFA Congress votes on May 17th.

Spain has topped the FIFA rankings for the first time, with the World Cup champions ascending to the the No. 1 spot.

Following the 2023 World Cup, Sweden topped the world rankings. But Spain followed up its World Cup win with a string of impressive performances in the Women’s Nations League to finally move into the top spot. The first-time World Cup winners are just the fourth team to ever hold the No. 1 spot after the USWNT, Germany and Sweden.

Spain took five wins in the Nations League – including two over Sweden – to qualify for the Nations League semifinals in February, when they will face the Netherlands.

The USWNT, meanwhile, is up to No. 2 in the rankings after falling to No. 3 in the aftermath of a disappointing World Cup run. France took moved into the third spot.

After missing out on the Olympics and finishing third in their Nations League group, Sweden dropped to fifth. Similarly, European champion and World Cup runner-up England – also out of the Olympics – dropped to fourth.

A record 192 nations now have been featured in the rankings, with Central African Republic and Macau appearing for the first time in the latest edition. North Korea, American Samoa, Madagascar and Bahamas have made a reappearance on the list.

Incoming U.S. women’s national team head coach Emma Hayes is among the three finalists for the FIFA Best Coach award.

Hayes was nominated for her work with English club Chelsea, marking her third time as a finalist for the award. With Hayes at the helm, Chelsea won the FA Women’s Super League for the fourth straight season and the FA Cup for the third straight season in 2023.

Upon the conclusion of Chelsea’s WSL season in May 2024, Hayes will join the USWNT as its manager.

Hayes is joined on the shortlist for the FIFA women’s coach award by England’s Sarina Wiegman, who led the Lionesses to a runner-up finish at this summer’s World Cup, and FC Barcelona’s Jonatan Giráldez. Under Giráldez, Barcelona won the Primera División, the Supercopa de España and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Among the 16 nominees for FIFA Best Player is Lindsey Horan, the lone contender from the USWNT. Spain and England each tied for the most nominees with four. Spain’s Aitana Bonmatí, who won the World Cup Golden Ball and Ballon d’Or, is among the nominees.

The award winners are set to be announced on Jan. 15 in London.

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.

A FIFA report made public Wednesday on former Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales showed that the soccer governing body considered “more severe sanctions” than the three-year ban it imposed on Rubiales in October.

The 35-page report also detailed more incidents of Rubiales’ misconduct, which included England FA chair Debbie Hewitt detailing “inappropriate” conduct with English players during the 2023 Women’s World Cup medal ceremony.

Hewitt testified to FIFA that during the medal ceremony, the Spanish president “cupped and stroked the face” of England’s Laura Coombs. He also appeared to “seemingly forcefully” kiss Lucy Bronze on the face.

She also noted that during the medal ceremony she was next to Rubiales, who she said was “unpleasant and unnecessarily aggressive” toward FIFA workers.

In response, Rubiales denied wrongdoing and accused Hewitt of “absolutely disgusting” behavior and “suggesting [he is] some form of creep.”

He attempted to defend himself, noting that he had stroked Coombs’s face as a show of comfort after she “was injured during the final, had to receive stitches and was wearing a bandage on her head.” Coombs did not play in the final, going as an unused substitute.

Johanna Wood, who is the president of New Zealand Football, also wrote submissions to the disciplinary committee upon witnessing Rubiales’s behavior. Both noted that they wanted to give “first-hand observations on [its] impact.”

Rubiales was issued a three-year ban from soccer by FIFA following incidents at the World Cup that included him kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso on the lips, allegedly without consent, and earlier grabbing his crotch in the VIP area after the final, next to the Queen of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter. He was found to have behaved “in a manner contrary to the principles enshrined under Article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”

Following the incident, Rubiales was faced with international outcry. While he initially refused to resign as president of the RFEF, he later issued his resignation.

“The Committee wished to stress that it was tempted to impose more severe sanctions in view of the seriousness and gravity of the incidents at stake as well as of the profound negative impact that the Respondent’s actions had on the image of FIFA, women’s football and women’s sport in general,” FIFA said in the report.

The report went on to say that the disciplinary committee was satisfied with the three year ban, only with “strong hesitations.” The committee said that it could not ignore the impact of Rubiales’ actions on Hermoso, both her mental health and her career. They also said that Rubiales utilized his position to put out statements using quotes that were not written or authorized by Hermoso.

The committee found that there hadn’t been a prior agreement between Hermoso and Rubiales about a kiss, and that Hermoso’s behavior prior to the incident did not imply consent.

But even if the kiss had been consensual, the committee wrote, it would have been inappropriate.

“The Committee found it essential to emphasize that such a kiss – emanating from the president of an association towards a player (of the opposite sex) of one of the national team under his leadership and responsibility – was completely unacceptable,” they wrote.

“This, regardless of whether or not it would have been consensual. As a matter of fact, by representing an entire country – that had just won the most prestigious women’s tournament – and by holding the highest position within the association, its president is expected to behave with the highest level of composure and discernment. In other words, it is expected to adopt an irreproachable attitude, far from that displayed during the award ceremony at stake.”

Rubiales accepted that he should not have kissed Hermoso, nor carried Athenea del Castillo or grabbed his crotch. Still, he argued that “at no point” did Del Castillo ask to be put down. He also defended the crotch gesture as a tribute to Spain’s then-head coach Jorge Vilda.

Former Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all activities related to the sport for three years, FIFA announced Monday.

The ban comes after Rubiales’ nonconsensual kiss of star midfielder Jenni Hermoso at the 2023 World Cup final. He also threw another Spanish player over his shoulder and was seen grabbing his crotch during Spain’s 1-0 win over England, and his behavior resulted in multiple investigations into his conduct.

While Rubiales initially refused calls to resign, he stepped down on Sept. 10, though he remained defiant in the face of the backlash against him. His decision to resign came after he received a provisional suspension from FIFA, the Spanish government attempted to have him removed and Hermoso filed a criminal complaint against him.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF), from all football-related activities at national and international levels for three years, having found that he acted in breach of article 13 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code,” FIFA said in a statement Monday. “This case relates to the events that occurred during the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on 20 August 2023, for which Mr Rubiales had been provisionally suspended for an initial period of 90 days.

“Mr Rubiales has been notified of the terms of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision today. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, he has ten days in which to request a motivated decision, which, if requested, would subsequently be published on legal.fifa.com. The decision remains subject to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee.

“FIFA reiterates its absolute commitment to respecting and protecting the integrity of all people and ensuring that the basic rules of decent conduct are upheld.”

While Rubiales has maintained his innocence, saying the kiss was consensual, Spanish prosecutors have charged him with sexual assault and coercion. They also say Rubiales attempted to put pressure on both Hermoso and her family to say that the kiss was consensual.

Hermoso has maintained that the kiss was not consensual, saying she felt “disrespected” and was left unprotected “as an employee of the federation.”

The 33-year-old midfielder returned to the national team last week for the first time since the World Cup final, scoring the game-winning goal in Spain’s 1-0 Nations League victory over Italy.