Breaking: New Zealand and Australia to host Women’s World Cup 2023

The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House was lit with Australia’s color and images of players and fans ahead of Thursday’s announcement.

Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Fifa has announced.

Colombia, which was the only other competitor in the run after Brazil and Japan fell out of the chase earlier in June, got the nod ahead of the joint bid.

The 2023 edition will be the first to feature 32 sides of a women’s game-up from the existing 24. The competition is scheduled for July to August 2023.

The Matildas huddle in celebration in front of a roaring crowd
The Matildas will be out to become World Champions on home soil in 2023.(Reuters: Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said: “The bidding process was extremely competitive, so we would like to thank all bidders for their excellent efforts. It was very, really well organized.

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The bid received 22 of the 35 votes cast by members of the Fifa Council with Colombia receiving 13 votes. Greg Clarke, the president of the Football Association, voted for Colombia as did the other eight Uefa members.

Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid

The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand promised “an unprecedented level of investment” in the tournament.

This will be the first World Cup hosted across two of football’s continental confederations (Australia are in the Asia confederation, while New Zealand is part of Oceania).

Chris Nikou, president of Football Federation Australia (FFA) said the forthcoming competition will be “ground-breaking”.

He added: “Not only will it be the first-ever co-confederation to host the Fifa World Cup and the first ever Fifa Women’s World Cup in the Asia-Pacific region, but we will be unlocking the enormous potential for growth in Asia-Pacific women’s football.”

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New Zealand Football president Johanna Wood said: “We believe a treasure has been given to us, and we’re going to look after that treasure.

How many teams will there be?

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will feature 32 teams, up from the 24 that competed in France in 2019. There will be eight groups of four teams in the initial stages, split evenly between Australia and New Zealand.

The qualification will start next year — contingent on an easing of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The countries have proposed to stage matches at up to eight grounds in Australia:

  • Stadium Australia, Sydney (the final), capacity: 70,000
  • Sydney Football Stadium, capacity: 42,512
  • Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, capacity: 30,052
  • Brisbane Stadium, capacity: 52,263
  • Perth Rectangular Stadium, capacity: 22,225
  • Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, capacity: 18,435
  • Newcastle Stadium, capacity: 25,945
  • York Park, Launceston, Tasmania, capacity: 22,065

And five stadiums in New Zealand:

  • Eden Park, Auckland (opening game), capacity: 48,276
  • Wellington Stadium, capacity: 39,000
  • Christchurch Stadium, capacity: 22,556
  • Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, capacity: 25,111
  • Dunedin Stadium, capacity: 28,744

Also Read: Top 10 most popular sports of Australia in the year 2019-20

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