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The Westfield Matildas celebrate the announcement that Australia and New Zealand will co-host the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 / Credit: Football Australia / Getty Images

Australia and New Zealand announced as co-hosts

In June 2021, football’s international governing body FIFA announced that Australia and New Zealand would serve as co-hosts for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.

The Women’s World Cup is the largest women's sporting event in the world. More than 140 national teams competed to be among the 24 finalists of the 2019 tournament, and games were viewed by a combined audience of over a billion football fans worldwide.

In 2023, the format will be expanded to include 32 national finalists. Games will be hosted in cities across Australia and New Zealand.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne said Australia and New Zealand were perfectly placed to lift the women’s competition to new heights.

“This is a great win for two true sports-loving nations,” Minister Payne said. “Football is the most universally followed of sports and the World Cup is one of the biggest events in the world.

“Australia and New Zealand are ready to host a fantastic tournament for fans at home and around the globe to enjoy.”

Working together ‘As One’

Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, observed that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be a tournament of firsts.

“This will be the first ever co-confederation hosted FIFA World Cup, the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first ever to be held in the southern hemisphere,” he said.

The Australian Government provided $5 million to Football Australia (FA) to develop the joint ‘As One’ bid with New Zealand Football.

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.

A partnership between two leaders in women’s sport

Minister Payne said the host nations would use the opportunity to drive the rising popularity of women’s football, creating greater opportunities for women and girls in sport.

“Australia and New Zealand are strong believers in the capacity of sport to empower women and girls,” Minister Payne said.

“This competition will champion the further development of women’s football in both our countries, the Asia-Pacific region and globally, creating a profound and enduring legacy for the women’s game. This will inspire the next generation of female footballers.”

Westfield Matildas wait anxiously for the announcement / Credit: Football Australia / Getty Images
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