The quest to bring the Women’s World Cup Down Under in 2023 has picked up a familiar ally, with confirmation on Friday morning that Australia will team with New Zealand in submitting a joint-bid.
Backed by the governments of both Australia and New Zealand, the joint-bid from Football Federation Australia (FFA) and New Zealand Football (NZF) has been given the slogan “As One”.
Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Launceston, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wellington would all host games should the bid be successful – the 2023 iteration of the tournament set to be the first with 32 nations competing.
The final would be held at the redeveloped Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would be a dream come true for me,” Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr said in the wake of the announcement.
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 to FIFA.
“I really believe that Australia and New Zealand would be incredible hosts to take the game forward.
“It is also fitting that New Zealand was the Matildas’ first full international opponent 40 years ago and now we are partnering in a Bid to host the biggest women’s sporting tournament on the planet.
The bid is designed to amplify women’s football in Asia and Oceania “like never before” and will run with the slogan ‘As One’.
Australia – which plays in the Asian Football Confederation – and New Zealand – which plays in Oceania – is the first bid in history to be put forward by partners residing in different confederations.
Thought the final slate of bids is yet to be confirmed, the joint Australia/New Zealand bid will be competing against Japan, a mooted joint bid from the two Koreas and possible bids from Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.
“This is the first ever cross-confederation bid in a football world cup, demonstrating again the strong links between Australia and New Zealand,” Australian Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said at the unified bid’s launch at AAMI Park.
“If it’s successful it will be the first time the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been held in the Southern Hemisphere.
“It will bring the joy of world class football to millions in Australia and New Zealand.
“They’ve [New Zealand] been extremely cooperative and both of us have brought to this process the desire to see our home teams competing on home soil, providing the opportunity for our athletes to play in a home series, but also to provide the inspiration for young people to participate in sport.
“I think that we will bring an extremely strong bid to the table as part of this process. We all know how well our region conducts sporting events.
“We’ve got a reputation for it and we’ve done joint events before in both cricket and rugby, and they’ve both been hugely successful. And that’s the message that we send to FIFA as governments supporting our respective organisations in this bid.
“As one, we are working together. As one, we will put on the best Women’s World Cup. And as one, we will work together to inspire young Australians and New Zealanders to participate in sport.”
In a statement announcing the bid, FFA President Chris Nikou touted the bids ability to grow the game.
“As trusted members of FIFA, FFA and NZF are committed to hosting an excellent Women’s World Cup that delivers real benefits for the game not only during tournament time, but in the lead up to the competition and afterwards,” Nikou said.
“The decision to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, two leading nations in the promotion of women’s football and gender equality, will accelerate the game at both the grassroots and professional levels, lighting a path for future generations of footballers, administrators, and fans in Asia-Pacific.”