FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The joint bid submitted by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football won 22 of the 35 votes cast by members of the FIFA Council. The Colombian Football Association, which submitted the only other bid, won only 13 of the votes; Japan and Brazil had withdrawn from the process before the final vote.
The vote was taken by the FIFA Council through video conferencing.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 is scheduled to begin on 10th July 2023 and will have 32 teams vying for the coveted trophy. Interestingly, it will be the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. The tournament will feature matches that will be played in eight stadiums in Australia and five stadiums in New Zealand.
The joint bid by Australia and New Zealand had been publicly backed by the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, who had written to FIFA openly supporting the bid. She was joined by her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
“An Australia-New Zealand FIFA Women’s World Cup would embody our passion for women’s football and proud commitment to equality and fairness, creating a profound and enduring legacy for the future of women’s football within the region and beyond,” the two leaders said in the letter.
Neither of the nations have hosted a football World Cup before.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup held in France was a turning point in women’s football. A record 1.2 billion people across the world watched the month-long tournament, making it a watershed event for women’s football. Also, the final match played between the United States of America and the Netherlands, which the former won 2-0, was the most-watched women’s World Cup match ever.
Will the 2023 World Cup generate similar levels of excitement among football fans? Only time will tell!