Australia and New Zealand to host 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Jun 26, 2020

By ABC Net

Australia and New Zealand have been successful in their historic joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Key points:

  • The joint Australia-New Zealand bid won 22 of the 35 votes from the FIFA Council
  • The trans-Tasman bid was favourite to win after being awarded a strong capability score
  • Sydney's Stadium Australia is expected to host the final

The trans-Tasman bid beat out that of Colombia by 22 votes to 13 at the FIFA Council meeting in Zurich early this morning.

The tournament will be the first co-confederation-hosted FIFA World Cup (Australia, being part of the Asian football confederation and New Zealand a member of the Oceanic branch), as well as the first FIFA Women's World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region.

After previous bidders Japan and Brazil each pulled out of the race in recent days, Australia and New Zealand were up against Colombia alone.

The joint bid was favourite to win after the technical audit scores were released at the beginning of June, which indicated the capability of a country to host the large-scale event.

Australia received a score of 4.1 out of five, and Colombia a 2.8.

Colombia, which did not qualify for the 2019 Women's World Cup, received votes from most of the nine voters from European soccer body UEFA.

In hosting the event, the Matildas and the Football Ferns will not be required to win qualifying matches and are automatically through to the opening round.

It was also announced that the 2023 World Cup would be larger than previous tournaments, with the number of teams at the group stage of the final tournament expanding from 24 to 32 teams.

FIFA Council president Gianni Infantino hailed the expanded tournament.

Australia and New Zealand awarded hosts of 2023 Women's World Cup

FIFA Council president Gianni Infantino and Secretary-General Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura present Australia and New Zealand the official hosting certificate.(FIFA)

"It will be even more global and have much positive impact on the development of women's football," Mr Infantino said.

Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou said the successful bid was an enormous opportunity to grow football in the region.

"Our pledge to the FIFA family is that no stone will be left unturned to produce the best World Cup and grow the women's game globally and in the Asia-Pacific region."

New Zealand Football Federation president Johanna Wood promised the two nations would work together to deliver a tournament to remember.

"Chris and I and the whole bidding team are extremely delighted with the result," she said.

"We've always said with this bid, that it is as one and making history and creating opportunities."

Australia's women's football team celebrate Tameka Butt's winning goal against USA in Seattle in July 2017

The Matildas will play the next World Cup on home soil.(Reuters/USA TODAY Sports: Joe Nicholson)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern issued a joint statement on what they said was a landmark decision for women's sport.

"This is a huge positive for the footballing and sporting industries on both sides of the Tasman as we recover and rebuild from COVID-19," they said.

"The 2023 event will be the largest, and no doubt the best, Women's World Cup that has ever been staged."

Players from both nations rejoice

Matildas defender Ellie Carpenter had earlier told the Nine Network's Today show that the team had gathered in Sydney to receive the news together.

A projected image in the sydney opera house of blue and green confetti falling behind Sam Kerr mid-backflip

The announcement was marked by the sails of the Sydney Opera House, which lit up with fireworks and confetti behind the iconic image of Matildas captain Sam Kerr backflipping in celebration.(Twitter: The Matildas)

"It would be extraordinary to have a FIFA Women's World Cup on home soil. We just dream of playing in a World Cup, let alone in our own backyard," Carpenter had said.

And on Friday morning the good news was met with capital letters, emojis and exclamation marks aplenty as players from the Matildas and the Football Ferns celebrated.

Matildas star Sam Kerr tweeted a gif of her celebrating a goal with a backflip, it followed another tweet that said "we did it. We freaking did it".

"THE WORLD IS COMING TO AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND IN 2023 We did it!" tweeted utility Matilda Jenna McCormick.

The reaction of some of the members of the New Zealand squad was recorded and comprised of screams of joy, followed by chants of "yes".

 

Hosting rights extra sweet after 2022 World Cup bid failure

The win was sweet redemption in many ways for Australian soccer after falling short in bidding for what will become the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

In 2010, Australia vied for the hosting rights of the 2022 men's tournament, but received just one vote during a secret ballot, and was knocked out in the first round.

The bid was backed by $46 million of Federal Government funds but controversy followed as Qatar was chosen instead.

That bidding process opened up an investigation that found layers of corruption throughout FIFA and resulted in FBI raids on the offices of the governing body and a slew of arrests.

Regardless, many past and present Socceroos shared the joy of the Matildas and Australian soccer fans alike, with one of Australia's most celebrated players, Tim Cahill leading the way saying he was "lost for words".

Eden Park in Auckland is expected to host the opening game of the tournament, with Stadium Australia in Sydney pencilled in for the final.

The planned redevelopment of the Sydney Olympic stadium into a 70,000-seat, rectangular facility was recently put on ice, but FIFA demands the World Cup final is played in a venue with a minimum capacity of 55,000 — and Homebush is the only venue on the list that fulfils that criteria, redeveloped or not.

The post about “Australia and New Zealand to host 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup" first appeared on the ABC Net website.

***

To engage in the latest trends, developments, and opportunities regarding social impact, initiatives, and job opportunities across Australia and Latin America, join our community at Social Impact Group.

Not yet a member? Get connected and be inspired by more incredible Latin American and Australian professionals. Join the growing Somos21 Community.


Other news

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.