Difficult application – is the next World Cup coming in Germany?
So that the boom in women’s football doesn’t flatten out, the DFB urgently needs another big tournament. But the struggle for the 2027 World Cup will be tough.
Superficially, the German Football Association, as host, is purposefully heading for the 2024 European Men’s Championship.
In the background, the largest sports association in the world has long been working on bringing another world championship to Germany – that of women.
However, the joint application with the Netherlands and Belgium for the 2027 tournament – motto: “Three Nations. One Goal” – is proving difficult. That has to do with the tense relationship between the world governing body FIFA and the DFB and with the tough competition.
The DFB would have liked to get started long ago, only: FIFA hasn’t even opened the official application process yet. The organizer should not be decided until 2024 – only three years before the first kick-off. FIFA had already awarded the men’s tournaments in 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar in one go in 2010.
The competition is big
The DFB relies on a sustainable tournament in the border triangle with Belgium and the Netherlands; The four North Rhine-Westphalia cities of Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne have already been decided as venues. What the DFB officials don’t like at all: South Africa has now announced that it will also apply – with its stadiums for the 2010 men’s World Cup.
It would be the first women’s tournament of its kind in Africa – and would support FIFA’s efforts to promote women’s football on continents that have never hosted a World Cup. “The world knows our capacities, they’ve seen our stadiums and our infrastructure,” said federation president Danny Jordaan. “Obviously, it is a big challenge to assert oneself against this competitor. However, we hope to be able to convince the FIFA Congress with our application,” said the DFB.
The USA, Mexico and Chile could also be added as applicants, as well as the association of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland – if the first four Nordic countries are not awarded the EM 2025 on April 4th.
A tournament like the home World Cup in 2011, when the host team lost to Japan in the quarter-finals, is extremely important for the further development of women’s football in Germany. After the boom European Championship in summer 2022 in England with record ratings, these will hardly be reached at the World Cup in July and August 2023 in Australia and New Zealand: Due to the time difference, there are no live games in European prime time.
Criticism of Qatar strains relationships
In the application race for 2027, the DFB does not exactly benefit from the fact that relations with FIFA President Gianni Infantino are not the best at the moment. Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was asked in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” whether she feared that the criticism of the situation in Qatar would fall on the Germans. “I can only imagine that FIFA would like to further develop women’s football, and that works best in the heart of Europe,” said the national coach tersely.
The influence of the DFB in FIFA is currently limited anyway: When the FIFA Council meets in Rwanda’s capital Kigali in mid-March, the German head of the association, Bernd Neuendorf, will not yet be on the executive committee. The 61-year-old is set to be nominated for the FIFA post by delegates from the continental federation at the UEFA Congress in Lisbon on 5 April. In the council of the world association, Neuendorf is regarded as Infantino’s opponent, especially after the clashes during the men’s World Cup in Qatar. He had also announced that he did not want to support the Swiss in his intended re-election in March.