Australia and New Zealand rejoice, not only is sport coming back, it’s coming back in a big way. A collective bid between the Trans-Tasman allies to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been approved, meaning the massive female sporting event is headed down under for the first time. According to the FIFA Board, Australia and New Zealand received 22 of the 35 valid votes to hold the event, topping the South Americans with 12.
The joint bid scored 4.1 out of 5 on all criteria, including stadiums, team and referee facilities, accommodation, International Broadcast Centre (IBC), competition-related event sites and commercial. Shortly after it was announced, the official social media account for the Australia and New Zealand bid wrote on Twitter: “Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the FIFAWWC 2023! This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne. We stand ready to welcome the world and deliver the best ever FIFAWWC.”
Best of all, the watershed moment for Australian and Kiwi sport was captured in all its glory and posted to The Matilda’s official Twitter page. Following the announcement, the sails of the Sydney Opera House were lit up green and gold, along with images of the players.
THE moment ? pic.twitter.com/QRumipMVvY
— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) June 25, 2020
Not everyone was convinced by the bid, however. European football federation UEFA voted for Colombia, noting that the South American country represented a more strategic opportunity for development. “It was a choice between two countries – Australia and New Zealand – where women’s football is already strongly established, and a continent where it still has to be firmly implanted and has a huge development potential,” UEFA said. “It’s important to add that European members of the FIFA Council agreed to vote together on major issues as a matter of solidarity.”
Nevertheless, the Aussies and Kiwis secured the win, and come 2023, the trophy (hopefully). The opening match of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held at Auckland’s iconic Eden Park, with the final to be played in Sydney.