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In dramatic turn of events, SA pulls out of 2027 Fifa Women’s World Cup bid

Minister of sport Zizi Kodwa and Safa's Danny Jordaan during the Banyana Banyana squad announcement for the FIFA World Cup in June.
Minister of sport Zizi Kodwa and Safa's Danny Jordaan during the Banyana Banyana squad announcement for the FIFA World Cup in June.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

In a dramatic turn of events, the South African Football Association (Safa) has confirmed the country is withdrawing from the 2027 Fifa Women’s World Cup bid. 

In a late-night statement, Safa said it would consider bidding for the 2031 tournament when Fifa announces the call for countries to bid for that event. 

Safa explained the time frame for developing the 2027 Fifa Women’s World Cup bid has been challenging and that this does not diminish their commitment to women’s football. 

This move is possibly going to be met with disapproval, especially after Banyana Banyana made it to the quarterfinal stage of the World Cup in New Zealand but Safa gave assurances of their commitment to produce a strong South African women’s team for 2031 and a compelling bid for the same tournament. 

“Leading the South African bid for the 2027 Fifa Women’s World Cup has been a great honour and a privilege,” said Tumi Dlamini, 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, though very short role in promoting women in sport.

“While I am saddened that South Africa has to pull out of the 2027 bid, I have no doubt 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,” she concluded. 

Safa CEO Lydia Monyepao expressed her disappointment. 

“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 ensure we put our best foot forward, rather than producing a rushed presentation,” said 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 under way 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.” 


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