The French women’s national team will have a chance to win the Women’s World Cup on home soil in 2019 after FIFA announced today that the European nation will host the 8th edition of the tournament. They will also host the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in 2018 continuing the tradition of using the U-20 World Cup as dry run started in 2010.
FIFA’s Executive Committee made the unanimous decision with France beating out South Korea, the only other finalist. Noël Le Graët, President of the French Football Association, was on hand in Zurich to accept the honor and start the preparations. It will be the first time they have hosted a senior women’s tournament.
France was considered the favorite after England withdrew their bid. The country hosted the very successful 1998 World Cup (which Les Bleus won) and have the stadia, with natural grass surfaces, and infrastructure in place to put on a great tournament. After the issues over the use of artificial turf at this year’s Women’s World Cup, the fact that France has plenty of venues with natural grass could only have benefited their bid.
Japan are the current world champions and will defend their title in Canada this summer. The Women’s World Cup was first held in 1991 in China and won by the United States. The U.S. added a second title in 1999 and along with Germany (2003 & 2007) are the only countries to win multiple titles. Norway won the 1995 WWC.
Le Bleus are considered a contender to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup after runs to the semi-finals at the 2011 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics.
The game has grown tremendously since the first tournament was held in 1991. The 2015 WWC will feature 24 teams for the first time in tournament history.