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

FIFA announced its decision after a virtual executive council meeting on Thursday, and the successful offer received 22 of the 35 valid votes cast in the first vote.

The joint bid was the favorite to win after Japan withdrew from the process earlier this month, leaving Colombia as the only competition.

FIFA’s technical assessment of the three hosts had put the Trans-Tasman offer ahead of its rival, giving it a score of 4.1 out of five.

Japan received 3.9, which in part caused its withdrawal, while Colombia obtained only 2.8.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has been praised for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, had publicly endorsed the offer.

Along with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, he had written an open letter to FIFA supporting the joint offer. He also reiterated his commitment in a final attempt to persuade the FIFA Council on Wednesday.

“We are leaders not only in women’s football, but on the path to achieving gender equality both on and off the field,” she said, before the vote.

“We have achieved equal pay for our national women’s teams and this is something we are very proud of.”

“This tournament will provide an opportunity to grow women’s football across Asia-Pacific and beyond, and we will shed light on the women’s game like never before.”

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Australia and New Zealand's nomination had been the favorite before the vote.

The tournament, scheduled to begin on July 10, 2023, will be the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the southern hemisphere and will be played at eight stadiums in Australia and five in New Zealand. It will also be the first edition that will feature 32 teams.

The successful offering promised an “unprecedented” level of investment following the revolutionary success of last year’s Women’s World Cup.

The tournament in France drew record audiences and put women’s football at the center of the stage.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and really what dreams are made of,” said Australian captain Sam Kerr before the decision.

“The best teams in the world, the best players in the world participating on the biggest stage.

“It’s about inspiring the next generation of girls leading the way on and off the field.”