Australia and New Zealand to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup–what could this tournament mean for these countries and women’s soccer?
The noise surrounding the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup has made it one of the most coveted tournaments to host in the world. Over 1 billion eyes watched as the United States took home their 4th World Cup title, defeating the Netherlands and bolstering their demands for equal pay.
On June 25, 2020, FIFA voted Australia and New Zealand as the hosts for the 2023 World Cup, after their impressive bid evaluation of 4.1 out of 5. These countries will be the first to feature 32 teams in the tournament and the first to do it across two separate confederations.
“We are leaders not only in women’s football, but in the journey to achieve gender equality both on and off the pitch,” said Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, via CNN. “We have achieved equality in pay for our women’s national teams and this is something we are very proud of.” The tournament will undoubtedly shed light on the incredibly talented women that will take the field, but it will also offer an opportunity to promote women’s athletics at large.
Ardern, who has been praised for her excellence in handling the global pandemic, is expecting a great deal of investment and attention as Australia and New Zealand move forward in organizing the campaign. 2019 made this bidding war the most competitive in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Ardern, along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is devoted to exceeding expectations.
Their players seem to have the same mindset, excited for what hosting the tournament could mean for the women’s game. “The best teams in the world, the best players in the world participating on the biggest stage,” Australian Captain Sam Kerr said to CNN. “This is about inspiring the next generation of girls by leading the way on the field and off it.”
The tournament is scheduled to begin July 10th, 2023, with each game played on natural grass. While projected organization costs are set at $108 million, ticket sales expected to cover at least $41 million. The Australian national team has qualified for all but one World Cup, while New Zealand’s national team has qualified each year since 2007. The 2023 tournament offers another opportunity for either team to bring home their first FIFA Women’s World Cup title.