By Emily Goddard

England has dropped its bids to host the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2018 Under-20 Women's World Cup ©Getty ImagesThe English Football Association (FA) has dropped its bid to host the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2018 Under-20 Women's World Cup.

The nation was one of five countries revealed last month to have expressed an interest in staging the 2019 event and one of four for the 2018 tournament, but the governing body said it has decided to pull out of the races after assessing a number of factors.

Reports suggest the decision has been sparked by a belief that France is a strong favourite to win the bid for the Women's World Cup.

"The FA can confirm that it will not be progressing its initial interest in hosting either the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019, or the Under-20 Women's World Cup in 2018," read a statement.

"Expressions of interest were lodged to gain a wider understanding of the bidding process, the benefits associated to the tournament and the competition to host the tournaments.

"Having assessed all of these factors The FA will not be furthering its interest in these competitions at this time.

"The FA remains committed to growing women's football and continues to invest in the game domestically both at the elite and grassroots level."

France, South Korea, New Zealand and South Africa remain in the running to host the 2019 Women's World Cup, while all but South Africa are bidding for the 2018 Under-20 Women's World Cup.

South Africa was due to stage the 2016 Under-20 Women's World Cup but earlier this month withdrew from hosting the event just seven months after being awarded the tournament.

A new host country is due to be selected by FIFA's ruling Executive Committee at its next meeting in September in Zurich.

The FIFA Executive Committee will name the host nation or nations of the 2018 and 2019 competitions next year.

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