PHL prepare to host 2025 Women’s Futsal World Cup

FIFA and PFF officials discuss initial preparations for the inaugural FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup 2025 to be hosted in the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of PFF)

Preparations have begun for the inaugural FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup 2025™️ to be held in the Philippines.

The FIFA Tournament Team was in Manila during the second week of June to meet with the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and lay the groundwork.

The Philippines was chosen as the host nation for the FIFA Futsal Women’s World Cup on May 15, 2024, as announced at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.

FIFA Director of Tournaments Jaime Yarza said Friday that the Philippines “is one of the top contenders” for hosting the Futsal Women’s World Cup. The other bidding countries were Brazil, Spain, and Italy.

Yarza explained that the hosting rights were awarded to the Philippines due to the exceptional work done by the PFF to promote football and futsal, and the growing interest of Filipino girls and kids in playing futsal.

“So, in the bidding process, the Philippines came on top of these six to seven nations bidding for the tournament,” Yarza added in a press statement.

As the host country, the Philippines automatically secures a slot in the tournament.

The remaining 15 slots will be filled by teams from member-associations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf), the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

According to the FIFA website, the proposed format will have 16 teams drawn into groups of four. The top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout phase, including quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off, and the final.

Yarza, along with FIFA’s Head of Olympics, Futsal and Beach Soccer Kasra Haghighi, and Futsal Manager Laura Cuscó, met with PFF President John Anthony Gutierrez, General Secretary Angelico Mercader, and the PFF team to discuss initial preparations and inspect potential venues.

“We need to spread the word that FIFA has trusted us to hold one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world,” said PFF President John Anthony Gutierrez. “This is going to be the first FIFA Women’s Futsal World Cup. The men have been successfully doing it for the past 35 years.”

The PFF has heavily invested in women’s football, including futsal which yielded results, such as the Philippine National Women’s Football Team, the “Filipinas,” qualifying for the country’s first-ever FIFA World Cup berth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™️.

Since 2022, the PFF has worked on developing all forms of the women’s game and organized local international women’s futsal tournaments to build the sport’s popularity among girls in public schools and communities.

With support from the Philippine government and the private sector, FIFA and the PFF envision the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2025 to boost the popularity of football and futsal in the country.

“While other teams, other women are dreaming of an opportunity to play in a World Cup, the Philippines has already been listed as a participant. We are the first team to qualify,” Gutierrez underscored.

“This is no small achievement. We are where other women around the world are dreaming of. We have to take advantage of this. We are again given a magnificent opportunity to showcase Filipina talent around the world. We have to spread the word,” Gutierrez emphasized.

The PFF will soon launch a Road to World Cup campaign to promote futsal across the country. A highlight of this initiative is a national futsal tournament to identify potential women’s futsal national team players.

“We will enjoin the entire country to be part of this momentous and once-in-a-lifetime event. We will promote futsal in schools and communities as this will help us develop our football nationwide. Equally important, we want to discover and hone local talents that can represent our country as members of the national team, who will be a source of pride not just for their respective regions but for the entire country as well,” added Gutierrez.

Lastly, Gutierrez assured that “all Filipinas around the world will be given a chance” to play for the national futsal team.

“It will be a mix of Filipinos who play the game,” Gutierrez said regarding the possible team composition. “But I would like to stress that everyone will be given the same chance, and I encourage our locally-developed players to step up and show the world what the Philippine program and way of playing futsal can do.”