Brazil to host 2027 Women's World Cup as Gaza overshadows FIFA meeting

Bangkok, Thailand - The Women's World Cup will take place in South America for the first time after Brazil was chosen to host the 2027 edition at a FIFA congress Friday marked by debate about Israel's war on Gaza.

The Women's World Cup will take place in South America for the first time in 2027.
The Women's World Cup will take place in South America for the first time in 2027.  © Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

After the success of Australia and New Zealand last year, FIFA members picked Brazil over a European bid in a push to expand women's soccer to new continents.

Delegates meeting in Bangkok voted 119 votes to 78 to send the 10th Women's World Cup to the land of samba football, beating a joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The decision sparked celebrations from the Brazilian bid team.

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Brazilian Football Confederation President Ednaldo Rodrigues hailed it as a "victory for Latin American football and for women's football in Latin America."

Brazil, home of women's soccer great Marta, scored higher than its European rival in FIFA's evaluation report.

FIFA inspectors had noted the "tremendous impact on women's football in the region" that South America hosting the Women's World Cup would have.

Brazil's bid includes ten stadiums used for the men's World Cup in 2014, with Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana lined up for the opening match and final. But work needs to be done, in particular to the Amazonia stadium in Manaus which has stood almost unused for a decade.

The 74th FIFA Congress, making its debut in Thailand, made its choice by open vote for the first time as the organization seeks to move on from the corruption and shady dealing that dogged it in the past.

Palestinian FA calls to suspend Israel from FIFA events

Brazil was chosen to host the 2027 edition at a FIFA congress on Friday.
Brazil was chosen to host the 2027 edition at a FIFA congress on Friday.  © Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP

Delegates had their choice simplified last month when the US and Mexico withdrew their joint bid, deciding instead to focus on trying to win the right to stage the 2031 edition.

As the Brazil tournament approaches, the focus will be on the huge financial disparity between men's and women's soccer.

Prize money for the 2023 Women's World Cup was a record $110 million, but that was still far short of the $440 million on offer to teams at the 2022 men's finals in Qatar.

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The congress also heard a call from the Palestinian FA (PFA) to suspend Israel from the world body and ban Israeli teams from FIFA events.

PFA head Jibril Rajoub said the Israeli FA (IFA) had broken FIFA rules, adding: "FIFA cannot afford to remain indifferent to these violations or to the ongoing genocide in Palestine."

His Israeli counterpart, Shino Moshe Zuares, rejected the call as "cynical, political and hostile," insisting the IFA had not broken any FIFA rules.

FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino said the body would take independent legal advice on the matter and decide by July 20 what action to take, if any.

Cover photo: Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

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