FIFA on Wednesday announced the list of a record nine member associations that have submitted formal bidding registrations.
South Korea’s Korea Football Association was listed as a sole entry, though FIFA noted the KFA’s “expressing interest in a joint bid with” North Korea.
Also in the running are Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.
The two Koreas expressed their interest in the joint bid last month, and the deadline to submit the bid registration was Wednesday. A KFA official said the two football governing bodies haven‘t had a chance to discuss their proposal and the KFA decided to go ahead with the sole bid.
“Though we submitted our registration alone, FIFA has offered to continue discussions with North Korea,” the KFA official said.
The deadline to send bid books to FIFA is Oct. 4 this year, and FIFA is expected to name the host of the 2023 event in March next year.
The Women’s World Cup was first held in 1991. The eighth edition of the quadrennial tournament will take place in France from June 7 to July 7 this year. The previous hosts were China (twice), Sweden, the United States (twice), Germany and Canada.
The possibility of a joint Korean bid for the tournament surfaced on March 4, when FIFA President Gianni Infantino told the Associated Press, “I have been hearing for the Women’s World Cup in 2023, the two Koreas. It would be great.”
South Korean officials at the time explained that FIFA had first approached them about the joint bid and that they were carefully considering the proposal.
The two Koreas, which remain technically at war because the Korean War ended with an armistice, rather than a peace treaty, are also trying to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics. (Yonhap)