24 November 2023 – South Africa wishes to announce that the country is withdrawing from the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup Bid and is considering bidding for the 2031 tournament when FIFA announces the call for countries to bid for the event.
The time frame for developing the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid has been challenging. This does not diminish our commitment to women’s football, and has instead strengthened our commitment to produce a strong South African women’s team for 2031, and a compelling bid for the same tournament.
We were very pleased by the support and advice from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Sport, when they encouraged us to work towards preparing a future bid, and in this regard, we felt it was better to regroup and present a well-prepared bid for the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The focus is now on making sure that African champions Banyana Banyana have a competitive team for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Leading the South African Bid for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been a great honour and a privilege,” said Tumi Dlamini, the chairperson of South Africa’s 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup Bid. “Football remains one of the most unifying sports in the world and investing in women’s sports must continue to be a priority in South Africa. I am humbled to have played a small, although very short role in promoting women in sport. Whilst I am saddened that South Africa has to pull out of the 2027 Bid, I have no doubt that we will come back with a strong and compelling bid for the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup. South Africa’s efforts to invest in women’s sports will and must be a priority. We wish the rest of the bidding nations all of the best.”
“It is quite unfortunate that we have to pull out of bidding for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but after doing an assessment and consulting extensively, the decision had to be made. We felt that it was better to present a well-prepared bid for the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup and ensurie we put our best foot forward, rather than producing a rushed presentation,” said South African Football Association (SAFA) CEO Lydia Monyepao.
“I am, of course, sad that we are bowing out of the exciting bidding process at this stage, but I feel that this is an opportunity to fully prepare ourselves for a robust 2031 bid. SAFA’s Department of Women’s Football has a large task underway as we implement our new strategy,” said SAFA’s Head of Women’s Football Romaney Pinnock. “This work focuses on growing the game locally for girls, developing a professional women’s league and creating an effective pathway for girls to become world class football players. Through this work we have the chance not only to prove our worth as a host country, but also ensure future generations are ready to perform on the global stage, and hopefully hold the 2031 FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy here on home ground. Hosting a tournament of this magnitude is not only about being ready as a nation, but also about nurturing the talent that can represent us on the field and make us proud of our crest, flag and country.”
It is to be noted that SAFA has already reaped the benefits of this programme as Banyana Banyana are the champions of the continent, and Mamelodi Sundowns are the CAF Women’s Champions League title winners for the second time in three years. It is also worth noting that Banyana Banyana made history at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by qualifying for the Round of 16 after beating Italy 3-2 in their final group match.
This gives us a good base in the pursuit of achieving in all of our women national teams.