Australia and New Zealand launched a joint bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The trans-Tasman neighbours submitted their bid to football’s international governing body on Friday with the hope to stage the tournament which might get expanded to 32 teams from the next edition.
FIFA have already expressed their desire to increase the number of teams from 2023 and believed that the two-country format could be a perfect option as it will provide more facilities for the extra fixtures.
“Australia and New Zealand have a successful history of both staging and co-hosting major international sporting events,” Australian Sports Minister Richard Colbeck was quoted as saying by AFP.
“We have the infrastructure, expertise and enthusiasm to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023,” Colbeck added.
He also said that bringing the tournament to the country will be in alignment with the Australian “government’s commitment to inspire more girls and women to participate in sport.”
12 host cities have been named in the bid as part of the united “As One” campaign. Among the 12, seven are in Australia and five are in New Zealand – Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wellington. Sydney’s Olympic Stadium with a capacity of 75000 was picked as the venue for the final.
New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson said that the joint bid was an opportunity for both the country to showcase their commitment towards women’s sport.
“New Zealand and Australia are both countries that champion and celebrate women’s sport, and it has been no surprise to see the football community, stadia, host cities and states across our two countries embrace this bid,” AFP quoted Robertson.
He further added, “We know New Zealand and Australia can work as a team to deliver something unique and world-class, while also creating a legacy for women and for football in our countries and across Asia and Oceania.”
Other than Australia and New Zealand, eight countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, South Korea and South Africa – have launched bids to host the women’s football World Cup in 2023.