TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is withdrawing its bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Kyodo news agency quoted a source as saying on Monday, just days before football’s world governing body holds a vote to determine the successful candidate.
The Japanese bid is one of three, along with Colombia and a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand. Earlier this month, FIFA rated the joint Australia/New Zealand bid as the best to host the tournament, with Japan in second place.
The Japanese Football Association (JFA) was not immediately able to comment. Australia’s FA said it was aware of the report but would not comment on another nation’s bid.
Japan has never staged the Women’s World Cup but co-hosted the men’s event in 2002 with neighbours South Korea.
The Japanese women’s team won the World Cup in 2011, shocking favourites the United States in the final.
The 2019 tournament in France broke records in terms of television audiences and was seen as the most high-profile edition so far.
Reporting by Jack Tarrant; additional reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Toby Chopra/Peter Rutherford