S. Korea loses to France in race to host 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

March 19, 2015
Germany Soccer WWCup Final Japan USA

American players couldn’t hide their disappointment back in 2011 when they lost in the finals to Japan, and now South Koreans are disappointed that they won’t be able to host the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (AP file)

ZURICH, Switzerland, March 19 (Yonhap) — South Korea on Thursday came up short in a race to host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

At FIFA’s Executive Board meeting in Zurich Thursday, South Korea lost out to France for the right to host the women’s premier football event.

South Korea was aiming to become the first country to have held every major FIFA tournament. It previously hosted the 2001 Confederations Cup, the 2002 World Cup — with Japan as a co-host — and the 2007 U-17 World Cup. And it will stage the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup for the men.

Starting in 2010, the U-20 Women’s World Cup, held a year prior to the Women’s World Cup, has been automatically awarded to the host of the senior competition as a rehearsal. If South Korea had bettered France Thursday, it would have won the right for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup as well.

It would have given South Korea a FIFA-sanctioned event for an unprecedented three consecutive years — a prospect that might have deterred FIFA voters.

South Korea pushed its case by arguing that it was Asia’s turn to stage the tournament. After China hosted it in 2007, the event went to Germany in 2011 and will be in Canada in 2015.

France, which hasn’t had a FIFA event for the past decade, tried to highlight the superior quality and rising popularity of women’s football in the country.

The Women’s World Cup is a quadrennial event that was inaugurated in 1991 in China. South Korea is the second Asian host.

China also staged the 2007 tournament. Sweden, the United States and Germany have been other hosts, and Canada will be the host this year.

South Korea has previously qualified for the 2003 event and is scheduled to compete at this year’s event in June. The tournament expanded from 16 nations to 24 nations this year.