The FIFA Council will select the next host of the Women's World Cup later this week ©Getty Images

Japan has dropped out of the race to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, leaving the joint bid from Australia and New Zealand poised to be successful.

The FIFA Council will select the winner at an online meeting on June 25 later this week.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) has confirmed though that it's bid will not be one of those considered, with the country instead pulling out of the race.

Colombia is now the only rival to the trans-Tasman bid.

The Japanese decision was "was taken after careful and thorough consideration in the Japan Bid Committee as well as the JFA Executive Committee", JFA President Kozo Tashima said.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic appear to be responsible for the move, with Tashima recognising that the "COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world and also the whole football family hard".

Australia and New Zealand's bid fared considerably better in an evaluation report published by FIFA than Colombia's.

Marked out of five, its average score was 4.1 compared to Colombia's 2.8.

The Japanese bid tallied an average of 3.9.

Brazil withdrew its attempt to host the tournament earlier this month too amid financial concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The FIFA evaluation report covered areas including stadia, team facilities, accommodation, transport, security, event timing and commercial factors.

Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football submitted a joint bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup ©Getty Images
Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football submitted a joint bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup ©Getty Images

It deemed that the trans-Tasman bid "provides a variety of very good options in terms of sporting and general infrastructure" and "would also appear to present the most commercially favourable proposition".

Colombia would need "a significant amount of investment and support from both local stakeholders and FIFA" to elevate its bid to the level of the Australia and New Zealand bid, the report concluded.

The Women's World Cup has never been shared between two nations before - something FIFA's report accepted can be a "more complex undertaking" - and it has never been held in South America or Oceania before either.

Were the tournament awarded to the two countries in Oceania, the opening game would take place in Auckland's 50,000-seat Eden Park, with Sydney's 70,000-capacity Stadium Australia set to host the final. 

Bogotá's Estadio El Campín would host the final if Colombia's bid was successful.

The 2023 tournament is set to include 32 teams for the first time.  

France staged the last edition in 2019, when the United States lifted the trophy for the fourth time.

FIFA Council members are set to select the 2023 host within the scope of an open voting process, with the results and votes by the members to be made public.