Women's World Cup Trophy
North America has hosted the Women's World Cup three previous times (United States in 1999, 2003 and Canada in 2015) Richard Heathcote/Via olympics.com/Getty Images

SEATTLE - Just months after making public their intentions to host the next Women's World Cup, the United States and Mexico have officially pulled from the bidding process in aims to focus on hosting the 2031 tournament instead.

According to a joint statement released by both soccer federations, one of the reasons why they pulled from the bidding process was the need for additional time to properly prepare for a tournament of such magnitude. The statement also pointed out that they will focus on developing a "more equitable bid" for the 2031 tournament.

It's no surprise that investment in the men's and women's game continue to show huge disparities. Last year, FIFA said that it planned to spend $896 million for the 2026 men's World Cup, a figure including prize money and payments to clubs for releasing players. In comparison, the governing body allocated just $152 million for the same items during last year's Women's World Cup, including $110 million in prize money.

USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone added in the statement that shifting the bid will enable them to "host a record-breaking Women's World Cup in 2031 that will help to grow and raise the level of the women's game both here at home as well as across the globe."

With Mexico and the United States out of the picture, only two bids remain on the table. Brazil, who hasn't hosted a major FIFA tournament since the 2014 men's World Cup, is looking to secure the first women's tournament in South America.

Brazil will compete against a joint Germany-Netherlands-Belgium bid looking to bring back the Women's World Cup to Europe after a successful 2019 tournament in France. The winner will be picked at the FIFA congress in May 17 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Despite being selected to host the 2026 men's world, North America hasn't hosted the women's tournament since 2015, when Canada won the bidding process.

With North America out of the picture and Europe having hosted the 2019 edition, it could be the perfect moment for FIFA to bring the women's game to South America.

During the bidding for the 2023 tournament that was eventually won by Australia and New Zealand, Colombia and Brazil submitted bids to host the World Cup. Ultimately, Brazil ended up withdrawing from the voting due to lack of support from the federal government and Colombia finished in second place, receiving 13 votes from the FIFA Council.

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