South Africa pulls out of race to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

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SAFA says it intends to focus on developing the women’s game in the country, alongside the South Africa Women’s Football League

The South Africa Football Association (SAFA) will not be making a bid to FIFA ahead of Friday’s deadline to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

SAFA says it intends to focus on developing the women’s game in the country, alongside the South Africa Women’s Football League.

Last month, South Africa turned down an invitation from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to be emergency hosts for next year’s Women’s African Cup of Nations tournament.

And the 2010 World Cup hosts – the only African country to host the men’s version of FIFA’s biggest tournament, also says it will not be biding to host another major international competition.

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But recent problems facing the South African economy have been viewed as a key factor behind the move.

According to SAFA’s acting Chief Executive Officer Hay Mokoena:

“We resolved that as an association, we should not proceed with the bid. We want to strengthen our women’s national league first before we invite the world to come and play. Definitely, we will consider doing 2027 and we think by that time, we will have a stronger women’s league and a much stronger women’s national team”.

Earlier this year, the South African Women’s football team Bayana Bayana participated for the first time in Women’s World Cup which was held in France but failed to make it beyond the group phase.

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An announcement is expected to be made in May on which country will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Japan, South Korea (who may have a possible joint bid with North Korea) and New Zealand so far still in the race.

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