The FIFA Emergency Committee has taken the decision to relocate the 4th FIFA Women’s World Cup, originally due to be played in China PR, to the United States of America. Four other countries had also submitted an offer to step in for China PR: Sweden, Australia, Italy and Canada.
The exact schedule of the competition will be announced shortly, but the tournament will still take place around the same period (23 September – 11 October 2003), with only a few minor changes to the schedule.
The Emergency Committee has also decided that China PR will retain its automatic qualification for the tournament. Furthermore, the allocation of qualification slots per confederation will remain the same – AFC 2.5, CAF 2, CONCACAF 2.5, CONMEBOL 2, OFC 1, UEFA 5, plus China PR. Mexico will face an AFC opponent in a playoff for the final slot upon completion of the AFC qualification tournament, due to be held from 10-22 June 2003 in Thailand.
“I would like to sincerely thank those national associations that declared an interest in organising the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003 in such trying circumstances. The Women’s World Cup in 1999 was so successful that FIFA is delighted to see the event return to the United States. Finally, I would like to reiterate my gratitude to the Chinese Football Association for their understanding and cooperation with FIFA following the Executive Committee’s decision on 3 May,” said FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter.