The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup may be delayed for several months, according to French newspaper L’Équipe.
The report from L’Équipe says FIFA has recently reached out to “several European leaders” to discuss the possibility of moving the World Cup, which is due to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The scheduled start date of July 20, 2023, is in the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and FIFA is reportedly aiming to push the competition into the region’s summer.
A rescheduled World Cup could force a reworked National Women’s Soccer League schedule, as the league typically holds its playoffs and championship game late in the year. It would also force the competition to compete for television viewership with several sports in the United States, including football and the beginning of the NBA and NHL seasons.
However, the postponement could provide a few top players — including 2021 Ballon d’Or Féminin winner Alexia Putellas of Spain — the time to recover from injury and participate.
The United States has won four of the eight FIFA Women’s World Cups, including the last two in 2015 and 2019. The upcoming event will be the first Women’s World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere.