FIFA’s Council unanimously approved the decision to stage a 32-team World Cup in 2023 on Wednesday but made no mention of changing prize money.
The organization’s leader, Gianni Infantino, called France 2019 “the best ever” but wants to change the format before the next edition of the tournament.
“The astounding success of this year’s World Cup made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football,” he said.
“I am glad to see this proposal, the first of several, becoming a reality,” added Infantino, who has succeeded in expanding the men’s tournament from 32 teams to 48 in time for the 2026 finals in the USA, Mexico and Canada.
The 2019 final was won by the United States, whose female players were recently backed by their male counterparts in their equal pay dispute with their own federation.
That was only the second tournament to be played by 24 teams after it expanded from 16 in time for the Canadian World Cup eight years ago.
FIFA has yet to select a host for the 2023 event. The nine candidates are Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and South Korea, potentially with North Korea.
While FIFA made no mention or confirmation of additional prize money for future competitions on Wednesday, Infantino has previously promised to double the prize fund for the next Women’s World Cup.
mp (AP, AFP)
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