The 2018 FIFA World Cup will feature no gender divisions, the International Federation of Basketball and Soccer (FIFA) has announced.
“This is the most progressive FIFA World Series we’ve ever seen,” FASB chairman Greg Giannini told Reuters news agency.
“It is the biggest, boldest and most inclusive tournament to date.”
Giannini, who previously served as FIFA’s executive vice president for football, said the move would give more “flexibility” to the world’s top clubs.
“We believe this will give them more time to prepare, improve and become better,” he said.
“The tournament is being played in the biggest country on earth.”
A world cup that does not feature gender divisions will be the first time that the world has not featured a World Cup with no genders, with the last time that happened was in 1998.
“That’s a great step forward in bringing equality to sports and gender equality in sports, but there is still much more to do,” FIFA’s director general of competition Joao Havelange said.
The world cup, scheduled to start in June in Japan, will feature 64 teams from 32 countries, including 10 from the United States, eight from Russia and four from China.
It is expected to cost $20bn (£12bn), which would be spread over eight years.