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Is the Women’s World Cup coming to Belgium now?

Is the Women’s World Cup coming to Belgium now?

On May 17, FIFA will decide who will host the 2027 Women’s World Cup.

World soccer body FIFA is looking to build on that success after the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with record figures in terms of revenue and attendance. Last year he argued that the prize money for the next edition in 2027 could be equal to the men’s prize money. At the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Lionel Messi and co. Qatar received in 2022. FIFA president Gianni Infantino said it would depend on the amount of TV rights and the turnover of the next World Cup.

The United States, which submitted its bid alongside Mexico, has led insiders to doubt that it will be the frontrunner to host the 2027 World Cup. US Soccer, the American soccer association, is targeting a record 2.8 billion euros, more than tripling the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. But by the end of April the Americans and Mexicans had left. After organizing the Men’s World Cup in 2026, we need more preparation time. “That’s why we’re aiming for the 2031 World Cup,” US Soccer said.

All by train or bus

That leaves two candidates: Brazil and a joint effort from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. They want to organize the ‘most ecological World Cup’ because of the short distances between the thirteen stadiums in three countries: a maximum of 300 kilometers, which means that all journeys can be made by train or bus. Germany therefore only uses stadiums close to the border with Belgium and the Netherlands in Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Cologne. Our country presents the stadiums of KAA Gent, KRC Genk, Anderlecht and the new, yet to be built, Charleroi Stadium. The environmental design of the Belgian, Dutch and German bids is in line with FIFA’s commitment to halve CO2 emissions during matches by 2030.

The prize money will be on par with the 2027 Men’s World Cup.

The only remaining opponent, Brazil, has little to exploit this compactness, with its thirteen proposed stadiums sometimes thousands of kilometers apart. At the same time, it has large stadiums with a capacity of at least 40,000. Most of them, including the legendary Maracanã Stadium, were already used for the Men’s World Cup in 2014. In comparison, the four Belgian stadiums can only accommodate 20,000 spectators.

First World Cup in South America?

It is doubtful whether ecology will play a major role in World Cup quotas. Other factors are more important, and there the balance tilts towards Brazil. One: Venues of previous Women’s World Cups. The 2011 edition was already organized in Germany and the final in 2019 in France, also in Europe. However, the Women’s World Cup has never been held in South America. A World Cup in Brazil, where football is a religion, will give women’s football on the continent a bigger boost than in Europe.

The second factor: the venues for the next Men’s World Cup. More in the US, Mexico and Canada in 2026, Spain, Portugal and Morocco in 2030 (with kick-offs in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and Saudi Arabia in 2034. Barring three matches in 2030, South America will have to wait until at least 2038. A Women’s World Cup in 2027 could be good compensation.

In addition to those considerations, it also comes down to lobbying. Not the Executive Committee as in the past, but FIFA’s 205 voting nations can make their choice. A 103-vote majority is enough, and Brazil can get it from North and Central America, excluding South America, of course, after the U.S. and Mexico leave, insiders said. African countries will also be more sympathetic to Brazil, perhaps even motivated by FIFA. Can Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany counter this with their ecological narrative and their lobbying? It will be revealed on May 17.

Is the Women’s Soccer World Cup Coming to Belgium?