FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed that the world football governing body would welcome a joint bid from North Korea and South Korea to host the 2023 Women's World Cup.

The 2019 tournament will be held in France this summer, but the bidding process for the next one four years down the line in 2023 is only just getting underway, with Australia, Japan, South Africa and New Zealand the countries that have so far confirmed their intention to bid.

But speaking at this month's AGM of the International Football Association Board, Infantino also mentioned the possibility of a joint bid from North Korea and South Korea.

"I have been hearing for the Women's World Cup in 2023, the two Koreas. I have been hearing that. It would be great," the FIFA chief is quoted as saying by Sky News.

"They have been in a very, very difficult situation until recently," he added.

If a joint Korean bid were to come it would be nothing short of historic. Despite a truce, the two countries have never officially declared peace since the 1950s war tore the peninsula apart, while communist North Korea has been largely closed to the rest of the world.


Official communication between the countries was temporarily halted in 2016 and tensions rose the following year as a result of nuclear weapons testing in the north and United States involvement. But relations do appear to have significantly thawed more recently.

The two nations famously marched together under the Korean unification flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, while a single Korean team made up of players from both countries competed in women's ice hockey during the Games.

Last month, South Korea even confirmed the intention to include North Korea in capital city Seoul's bid to host the 2032 summer Olympic Games as a further peace gesture.

But a joint bid to host the 2023 World Cup would bring the countries together even sooner.

The first deadline in the bidding process is later this month, with each bidder required to submit a completed 'expression of interest' form to FIFA by no later than 15 March.

Completed bidding registrations are then required by 16 April, with the 'bid book', signed hosting agreement and any other hosting documents to be sent to FIFA by 4 October.

The winning bid is then expected to be revealed when the FIFA Council meets in March 2020.


South Korea previously jointly hosted the 2002 Men's World Cup with neighbouring Japan, but no Women's World Cup tournament has yet been staged in more than one country.

England will host the next UEFA Women's European Championship in 2021.