Football Federation Australia (FFA) have announced their joint bid with New Zealand to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023.
The dual bid will see the countries attempt to take the competition to the southern hemisphere for the first time.
After the success of the competition in France this summer, FIFA announced the next edition would expand from 24 teams to 32. Chris Nikou, Chairman of FFA said the expansion of the competition meant it made even more sense to link up with New Zealand to host the event.
“We’ve had a really constructive dialogue with Football New Zealand and we have a great relationship. A dual bid makes sense – the competition going from 24 countries to 32 means we need to go from six to eight venues to eight to 10,” he said ahead of the announcement.
The joint bid has received backing from both respective governments with Australia’s Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, emphasising his country’s history of hosting major events.
“Australia and New Zealand have a successful history of both staging and co-hosting major international sporting events — most recently the Rugby League World Cup 2017 and the Cricket World Cup 2015.
“By hosting such a premier sporting event, we strengthen Australia’s reputation as a world leader in women’s sport,” Colbeck said.
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Sam Kerr, Australia’s most successful footballer who recently signed for WSL side Chelsea, added her support for the cause.
“There is so much untapped potential, not just in Australia but right across Asia and the Pacific region, that I really do believe we would offer something incredibly special,” Kerr said.
Both Australia and New Zealand have already qualified for the competition in four years time and have been keen to stress their commitment to women’s sport.
“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,” said New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson.
FIFA has also received bids from Brazil, Japan, Colombia to host the competition, with South Africa dropping out of contention earlier this week. South Korea was expected to submit a joint bid with neighbour’s North Korea, however, failed to establish a unified bid and subsequently dropped out of the running.
The Japanese Football Association has already launched a website for supporters to submit ‘My Dream for 2023’ hopes for the event. Japan will also host the next Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.