The qualification process for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Canada is still in its final stages, but plans for the 2019 edition are building momentum with bidding nations today visiting the Home of FIFA in Zurich.
Delegates representing the Football Associations of France and Korea Republic were welcomed by FIFA President Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke where they handed over their bid documents for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
Today marks the end of a journey for the respective countries, who have now completed the bidding process; the last step prior to this being a ‘reconfirmation of interest’ on 15 June 2014.
Korea Republic, whose delegation included Korea Football Association president Mong Gyuchung, were the first to officially hand over their documents.
"We are very proud to bid for these two competitions," said Mong Gyuchung, president of the Korea FA. "We have the full support from our head of government (Korea Republic's president, Park Geunhye) and having this competition would certainly help greatly the development of women’s football in our country.
"It would be the first time we would organise a FIFA women’s tournament, but we have a good experience in other FIFA competition as we were in charge of the FIFA World Cup in 2002, of course, but also the U-17 World Cup in 2007, with the U-20 World Cup to come in 2017."
This experience of staging successful events was also referred to by FIFA President Blatter in receiving the bid documents. “We know you are very good organisers," he said. "We witnessed this at the various FIFA competitions you have organised in the past, so it would not be a first for you. It's a matter of trust with candidatures for organising tournaments. We wish you well. Good luck!”
Next up were France, with a delegation that included president Noel Le Graet, secretary-general Brigitte Henriques and national team coach Philippe Bergeroo.
“Women’s football has grown up a lot in France over the past decade at every single level and we have increased the number of players a lot in the past five years,” said Le Graet. “There is no doubt being granted these two competitions would give a huge boost to the development of women’s football in France. A lot of cities are interested in hosting the tournament.
FIFA will evaluate the bid submissions of the two candidates for what is one of world football’s fastest growing tournaments and the biggest women’s team sport event in the world with an official decision taken by the FIFA Executive Committee in March 2015.
“I’m a very happy President to see these two big football nations competing for these two women’s competitions,” said FIFA President Blatter.
“Both countries have recently organised a men’s FIFA World Cup; France in 1998 and Korea co-hosting with Japan in 2002 and it’s really great to see now their interest shifting towards women’s competition. I’ve always been behind women’s football and I’m therefore really glad to see this evolution. I wish them both good luck obviously, but I’m really confident that either will be fantastic organisers.”