Australia and New Zealand have been chosen as the co-hosts for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first time ever that the tournament has been held across two countries.
It is also the first time the competition will be on the Oceania continent, having only ever previously been held in North America, Europe or Asia.
The Australia/New Zealand bid was deemed the strongest of the final three that were presented to FIFA earlier this month and saw off a final threat from Colombia after Japan withdrew.
Australia have been at every edition of the Women’s World Cup except the inaugural tournament back in 1991. They have reached the knockout stages in each of the last four World Cups, although the Matildas have only ever won one knockout tie.
New Zealand were at the 1991 tournament but had to wait until 2007 for their second appearance. The Football Ferns have, however, been at each of the last four World Cups, but they have never made it past the group stage and are still awaiting their first ever win.
Both countries have worked hard to promote and grow the women’s game.
The official bid put forward 13 proposed venues in 12 cities across both countries, with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Perth, Launceston and Adelaide in Australia, and Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Hamilton in New Zealand.
The final will be played at the 70,000-capacity Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be the biggest yet, expanded from 24 teams to 32 following the success of the 2015 and 2019 tournaments in Canada and France respectively. FIFA estimates that one billion people around the world tuned in for 2019 last summer.
Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, South Africa and South Korea, the latter that proposed to also include North Korea, had all expressed interest in hosting the 2023 finals earlier in the process.