The 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup, the fourth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, was held in the United States and won by Germany. They won their first women's world title and became the first country to win both men's and women's World Cup. The men's team had won the World Cup three times at the time.
The tournament was originally scheduled for China from 23 September to 11 October. On 3 May 2003, FIFA announced that they would move the tournament to an alternate host country because of the 2003 SARS outbreak in China. At the same time the FIFA announced that the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup would be awarded to China in its place. On 26 May 2003, FIFA announced the United States would host the tournament. Because the United States had hosted the 1999 World Cup, it was thought the United States could best organize the tournament in the little time remaining before the October scheduled start. In addition, women's soccer boosters in the United States hoped that interest generated by the tournament would save the U.S. women's professional league, the Women's United Soccer Association, from folding.
In compensation for losing the tournament, China retained its automatic qualification as host, and was named as host for the 2007 event.
Mostly due to the rescheduling of the tournament on short notice, FIFA and the United States Soccer Federation were forced to creatively schedule matches. Nine doubleheaders were scheduled in group play (similar to the 1999 format). They also had to abandon the modern practice of scheduling the final matches of the group stage to kick off simultaneously. In Groups A and D, the final matches were scheduled as the two ends of a doubleheader. The final matches in Groups B and C were also scheduled as doubleheaders, but split between two cities, with a Group B match in each city followed by a Group C match. The four quarterfinals were also scheduled as two doubleheaders, and both semifinals were also a doubleheader.
The size and scope of the cup were reduced due to the limited time given to organize the tournament. Giants Stadium in the New York area backed out of hosting after being unable to resolve scheduling issues with the New York Giants. The matches were scheduled in doubleheaders and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast as it progressed.