Acting South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Gay Mokoena has revealed that the country is focusing resources and funds to “successfully” stage a bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
South Africa are one of seven bids to stage the global showpiece‚ which was a massive success in France this year as interest in women’s football is at an all-time high.
Argentina‚ Australia (possibly jointly with New Zealand)‚ Brazil‚ Colombia‚ Japan and South Korea (possibly with North Korea) are the other bids on the table‚ with the deadline to complete the registration set on the 13th of December this year with the hosts set to be announced by FIFA in May next year.
The Women’s World Cup has never been staged on African soil and standing in South Africa’s favour is the fact that FIFA are making a massive push to uplift the game on the continent and also that the infrastructure for hosting the tournament is already there with stadia and facilities used from the 2010 men’s World Cup there.
If South Africa do not get the right to host the 2023 World Cup‚ they could move to host the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations which will serve as the qualifier for the 2023 World Cup and playing it on home soil could give Banyana Banyana a significant edge.
Mokoena was speaking on the backdrop of Confederation of African Football (CAF) desperately seeking new hosts for the 2020 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations after CAF in July withdrew Congo from the original staging of the tournament.
“I will write to CAF to advise them that we will not express any interest to host this tournament. We are instead trying to focus our efforts on the 2023 FIFA World Cup‚” Mokoena said.
By Gerald Dandah