“We think it would be great if this worked,” says Enschede Mayor Bleecker. He likes to remember the 2017 Women’s European Championship. It was a big party in the city. Excellent performance by the orange lionesses, nice weather and great atmosphere. Everything came together after that. “The whole town was sympathetic, and there was a big parade,” Blecker recalls. By the way, he is not yet the mayor of Enschede.
But being able to experience such a party again seems like an excellent plan to him. “We are doing this in cooperation with a few German and Belgian cities,” says the city mayor. In the Netherlands, Enschede, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Heerenveen are the host cities. “Women’s football is on the rise, and also in terms of visitor numbers. It would be great if we could bring that back to Enschede and the Netherlands.”
This has to be the best Women’s World Cup ever. Blecker is confident he can succeed. “The number of viewers is increasing. I think more countries will participate. We are going from 24 to 36 countries. It will be a bigger tournament than ever before. It is being broadcast a lot on TV. It is really live. It is a very beautiful event.”
Enschede Council is excited
Not only Mayor Bleecker is interested in Enschede as a host city during the 2027 World Cup. The city’s municipal council also supports the event. The municipal council adopted a motion on November 7 to give the council “full compliance.” The Council still sees hurdles to overcome, but states that “experiences with previous similar tournaments have shown that risks in a regulatory and legal sense are already being resolved in a practical way.” Furthermore, the Council would like to receive compensation from the government, but an agreement cannot be reached on this matter at the moment because the government has expired.
The City Council sees the event primarily as a great opportunity to promote the city. In this way, Enschede can also commit to equal opportunities in sports.
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Message to Parliament
In a letter to the House of Representatives, outgoing Minister Helder announced that on December 8, the Dutch Football Association, together with the Belgian and German Football Associations, will submit a so-called bid to organize the Women’s World Cup in 2027. The minister says: “The bid continues or declines in cooperation.” “With potential host cities. I am pleased that five Dutch cities have applied themselves.”
Bleecker hopes the World Cup will eventually be awarded to the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. “There is a very good plan,” the city’s mayor said. However, he is also keeping an eye on the United States and Mexico, which are running together as candidates. “This is an important competitor. We are just aiming for it.”
Next Friday, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany will submit their joint bid for the World Cup under the title “Opening New Horizons 2027” to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). He describes how the three countries want to make the Women’s World Cup a success within four years. For the Netherlands, the 2027 World Cup will come ten years after the successful 2017 Women’s European Championship.
Then the Netherlands won the European Championship, which became a flywheel for the further development of women’s football. Not only has the number of girls and women playing football increased to 135,000, but they also have more opportunities to develop talent and better conditions to enjoy playing football. The 2027 World Cup should provide the next giant leap, with specific ambitions to achieve more women in representative positions such as coach, manager and referee.
On May 17, 2024, it will be announced during the FIFA Congress in Bangkok whether the Netherlands will be allowed to organize the 2027 World Cup with Germany and Belgium. Or the honor goes to the United States and Mexico. The conference consists of 211 members. Regardless of which countries have applied to host the World Cup, each member may cast one vote.
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