Sunday, 05 Jul 2020
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26/06/2020 01:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26  -- Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) announced early today.

FIFA, in a statement, said the Football Federation Australia (FFA) and New Zealand Football (NZF) have won the vote taken by the FIFA Council during its meeting held via video-conference, the result of which was announced by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The joint bid received 22 of the 35 valid votes cast by the Council members in the first ballot, to sideline challenger, Colombian Football Association, who received only 13 votes.

After the astounding success of the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France, the next edition will have several firsts to carve its own history.

The 2023 edition will be the first edition to feature 32 teams, first-ever Women’s World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, first-ever to be held in the southern hemisphere and it will also be the first to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand and across two confederations – Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).

NZF president and FIFA Council Member, Johanna Wood, believes Australia-New Zealand will deliver a tournament the likes of which has not been seen before.

“Australia and New Zealand will not only host a FIFA Women’s World Cup that is the largest tournament ever run, but it will also be a catalyst for ensuring the development of women’s football continues in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

“Our two nations have worked together to deliver an exceptional, historic bid and I would like to thank FIFA and the whole football family for giving us this opportunity. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will bring us all together in a celebration of our shared love of football,” she said in a separate statement.

FFA President, Chris Nikou, on the other hand, believes FFA and NZF’s unique geographical location was a key strength for the successful bid.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand will be ground-breaking in many ways. We will unlock the huge potential for growth in women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) expressed their confidence that Australia and New Zealand could deliver outstanding jobs to co-host the 2023 Women’s Football World Cup.

“On behalf of AFF, our Member Associations and the millions of football fans in Southeast Asia, we congratulate Australia and New Zealand. I am confident that they will be outstanding hosts and will deliver an extraordinary as well as a memorable event in 2023,” AFF president, Major General Khiev Sameth said in a brief statement today.

-- BERNAMA

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