On July 31, in Paris, the capital city of France, FIFA announced that the footballing board had reached a unanimous agreement to expand the number of countries at the Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 countries in the next tournament in 2023.
Twelve teams participated in the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991, before the number of teams rose to 16 in 1999 and 24 in 2015, 32 in 2023. The FIFA President, Infantino, would be solely credited for the expansion, as it was one of his proposals which he had brought up prior to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. He proposed five things, including:
1. Women's World Cup expansion.
2. Creation of Club World Cup for women.
3. Creation of Women's World League.
4. Doubling the prize money for the next Women's World Cup
5. Doubling the investment committed to women's football over the next four-year cycle.
A delightful Infantino gave a speech at the end of the meeting. He said: "I am glad to see this proposal which is the first of several becoming a reality.
"The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams. It means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organise their women's football program knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying.
"The FIFA Women's World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalisation of the women's game, but it comes but once every four years and is only the top of a much greater pyramid. In the meantime, we all have a duty to do the groundwork and strengthen women's football development infrastructure across all confederations."
The meeting in France was held to discuss majorly on the bidding for the 2023 Women's World Cup hosting rights. In the meeting, they analyzed the new requirements for the host nation whilst setting October 4, 2019, as the deadline for submission of bids.
After the key topic of the day, the President of FIFA, Infantino, vetoed for the expansion of the Women's World Cup teams and it was put to vote. The council unanimously supported the expansion.