FIFA wants to fast-track 32-team Women's World Cup
FIFA is asking its ruling council to fast-track expansion of the next Women's World Cup to 32 teams.
In a document seen by the Associated Press and ESPN FC, FIFA says it wants council members to approve adding eight more teams within days and without a formal meeting. FIFA is also asking the council to urgently reboot bidding to host the 2023 tournament.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes the 2019 World Cup, won by the United States in France earlier this month, showed a bigger tournament is commercially possible and would speed development of the women's game.
Nine FIFA member federations are preparing to submit formal plans to host the traditional 24-team tournament by October.
They are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea, which could bid with North Korea.
FIFA now wants to modify the process in August by asking the nine federations to confirm interest in a 32-team tournament, and inviting other federations to enter.
If council members agree to the expansion by next week, FIFA suggests they would pick the host next May instead of March, as previously scheduled.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.