FIFA President Gianni Infantino: "After the men's World Cup, it is the single biggest sporting event of one single sport around the world."

By Ian Horswill


Posted on June 26, 2020

Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football have won the hostings rights for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 after a vote by FIFA’s ruling council on Friday.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first co-confederation hosted World Cup, the first ever Women’s World Cup in the Asia-Pacific region and first in the Southern Hemisphere.

“It’s not just a Women’s World Cup, it’s a World Cup, we need to realise that. Women are 50 per cent of the population,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said. “After the men’s World Cup, it is the single biggest sporting event of one single sport around the world.”

The joint bid by Australia and New Zealand was chosen over the bid by Colombia, its only rival by 22 votes to 13.

The first countries to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in the Southern Hemisphere, an event watched by more than a billion people, promises to hasten interest in women’s football across Australia and New Zealand.

“The opportunity to play in a home FIFA Women’s World Cup is something every footballer dreams of and I am looking forward to seeing those dreams come true,” said Australia’s star player Sam Kerr, a striker who plays for Chelsea in the UK, FFA Media reported.

“Playing for the Matildas in Australia will be the highlight of my career and an opportunity to inspire girls, both in Australia and New Zealand, and all over the world to play football.

“We have seen great progress in the women’s game and Australia-New Zealand will take the game to a whole new level.”

New Zealand Football President and FIFA Council Member, Johanna Wood, believes Australia and New Zealand will deliver a tournament the likes of which has not been seen before.

“Australia and New Zealand will not only host a FIFA Women’s World Cup that is the largest tournament ever run, but it will also be a catalyst for ensuring the development of women’s football continues in the Asia-Pacific region and globally,” she said.

“Our two nations have worked together to deliver an exceptional, historic bid and I would like to thank FIFA and the whole football family for giving us this opportunity. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will bring us all together in a celebration of our shared loved of football.”

The decision will be a great fillip for football in Australia and New Zealand.

Football Federation Australia modelling predicts the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will spark a surge in female participation of more than 150,000 new players over the next seven years, delivering a 50-50 gender split by 2027.

The hosting rights ensures the launch of new community programs: ‘Soccer Mums’ aimed at encouraging female adults to play, ‘Kick On’ for girls between 13 to 17 years, specific multicultural programs for non-English speakers and an extension of the country’s Indigenous program.

Australia’s government has pledged more than A$90 million in operational costs for the tournament.

It will also be an economic boom for tourism and businesses in both countries, providing the coronavirus pandemic is well and truly a memory.

The forecast is that 1.5 million spectators that would attend matches spread across 12 cities in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and provide a A$460m social and economic benefit.

Canada had a net economic gain of C$493.6 million (A$525 million) from hosting the 2015 Women’s World Cup, mainly from the spending by tourists.