Blatter says Women's World Cup may expand to 24 teams in 2011

May 15, 2007 - 1:43 PM ZURICH, Switzerland (Ticker) -- The Women's World Cup in 2011 may expand from 16 to 24 teams, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced on Tuesday.

Six countries - Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Peru - are bidding to host the tournament and FIFA has postponed a decision from August until November.

"These are powerhouses of football and because there is such huge interest we want to make a better investigation and contact with the bidders," Blatter said. "Another reason why we have postponed the decision is that we want to first play the World Cup in China and see what the level of the 16 teams is.

"It may be that we can add eight teams so the 2011 Women's World Cup is played with 24 teams, as is the case with FIFA's Under-17 and Under-20s boys' and men's tournaments."

Blatter believes that the six bidding countries would be whittled down before the final vote in November.

"They are all serious contenders but it is likely we will have a pre-selection before the vote," Blatter said.

This year's Women's World Cup will take place in China, which had been the chosen host for the tournament in 2003 until the outbreak of the Sars virus made FIFA decide to move the tournament to the United States.

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