The FIFA council have 'unanimously agreed' to extend the Women's World Cup from 24 teams to 32 for the upcoming edition of the competition in 2023, while also re-opening bidding for the hosts.
The 2019 tournament proved a huge success, with record viewing figures recorded across the world making it the most watched Women's World Cup to date.
Due to the success of the competition, which was held in France, FIFA have decided to expand the tournament to eight groups of four, with an ongoing bidding process to reflect the new format.
With the bidding process for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 already underway - nine bidders are expected to submit their bids by 4 October 2019 - a new format has been arranged to comply with the alterations.
By August, hosts must confirm their interest in making a bid, while December is the deadline from which to submit one. In April next year, the publication of a bid evaluation report is needed, while the appointment of a host is expected in May 2020.
“The astounding success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football. I am glad to see this proposal – the first of several − becoming a reality,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino on FIFA's official website.
“The expansion reaches far beyond the eight additional participating teams; it means that, from now on, dozens more member associations will organise their women’s football programme knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying.
"The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the most powerful trigger for the professionalisation of the women’s game, but it comes but once every four years and is only the top of a much greater pyramid.
"In the meantime, we all have a duty to do the groundwork and strengthen women’s football development infrastructure across all confederations."