Japan to withdraw bid for 2023 women’s World Cup

TOKYO (AP) — The Japan Football Association is expected to pull out of bidding for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The Japanese news agency Kyodo on Monday reported the pending withdrawal and cited unnamed sources at the JFA.

That would clear the way for a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand. That bid received the highest evaluation from FIFA earlier this month with Japan rated second and Colombia third.

FIFA is to announce the winner on Thursday.

The Japan Football Associated did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Australia and New Zealand received the highest rating score of 4.1 out of 5. Japan was second at 3.9 and Colombia had 2.8. Scores were based on criteria including hotel availability, stadiums and other infrastructure.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports