Canada in mix for 2015 Women's World Cup
Zimbabwe also part of 2-horse race; bid books to be submitted by Feb. 11
Canada is up against Zimbabwe in the race to host the 2015 Women's World Cup of soccer.
FIFA confirmed the two bidders in a release Monday.
The next step for the two rivals is to submit their bid books by Feb. 11. FIFA's executive committee will then vote at a March 2-3 meeting.
Zimbabwe has never qualified for the Women's World Cup, with Ghana and/or Nigeria representing Africa at the five previous tournaments.
The U.S. and China have each hosted the event twice. Sweden held the other one, in 1995.
The Canadian women are currently ranked ninth in the world. Zimbabwe is 103rd.
Canada submitted formal notice of its bid to FIFA in late November after expressing interest in September.
The 2015 women's bid is two tournaments in one, in that the successful bidder will also host the 2014 U-20 Women's World Cup. The U-20 competition serves as a test event, just as the host for the men's World Cup stages the Confederations Cup in advance.
FIFA also announced the bidders for several other of its competitions:
- FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013: Ghana and United Arab Emirates.
- FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013: Turkey, UAE and Uzbekistan.
- FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014: Costa Rica, Ghana, Macedonia, Russia, UAE and Uzbekistan.
- FIFA U-17 World Cup 2015: Chile, Russia, Tunisia and Wales.
- FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015: New Zealand, Peru, Tunisia and Wales.
- Canada has already secured the support of the federal government, which is willing to commit up to $15 million to the event.
The Canadian Soccer Association expects at least six host cities, spanning the country, in its bid.
In 2007, Canada's budget for the men's U-20 World Cup was between $24 million and $25 million. That was for a 24-team tournament, the same as the 2015 women's event (which will increase from 16 teams in 2011).