It is official! The Westfield Matildas will partner with the Black Ferns to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Australia-New Zealand co-bid, the first ever of its kind in Women’s World Cup history, won the Executive Council vote by a tally of 22-13 over Columbia. The Down Under bid was the last of two remaining after Japan and Brazil removed their candidacies citing financial concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Former NWSL and current Chelsea star Sam Kerr, who is a frontline star for the Australian Women’s National team, went on Twitter today to remark “We did it. We freaking did it!”
Words of support came pouring in from around the globe both in and out of the soccer community. Socceroos (Australia Men’s National team) legend Tim Cahill expressed being “lost for words and want to say congratulations to Australia and New Zealand on this amazing achievement”.
The 2023 edition will be the first to feature 32 countries, an increase from the 24 seen in previous tournaments.
The 2019 tournament, won by the United States, was a ground-breaking moment for women’s soccer as it saw 1.2 billion viewers on television during the month of play. The championship match, a 4-star production by the United States in a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands was the highest tv-rated Women’s World Cup match ever, eclipsing the 1999 thriller at the Rose Bowl.
As part of this winning bid, the FFA (Football Federation Australia) is working on a structure to increase the pathway for young girls and women in the sport looking to have 600,000 playing by 2027.
This is a developing story with more to follow in the coming days…