NZ Football anxiously await decision on joint Women’s World Cup bid in June

New Zealand Football Ferns player Annalie Longo training in isolation in her backyard in Christchurch. Picture: STUFF

Australia and New Zealand will learn whether they will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup when the Fifa Council meets online on June 25.

Brazil, Colombia and Japan are the other three candidates in what world fooitball’s governing body described as “the most competitive bidding process” in the event’s history.

The 37-member Fifa Council will hold an open vote, with the result of each ballot and each voter’s choice to be made public on the Fifa website.

Fifa conducted inspection visits of the bidding member associations – none of whom have hosted a Women’s World Cup before – in January and February, and will publish an evaluation report in early June.

“Fifa remains committed to implementing the most comprehensive, objective and transparent bidding process in the history of the Fifa Women’s World Cup,” its general secretary Fatma Samoura said.

The hosts were originally going to be decided at a Fifa Council meeting in Addis Ababa in June, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be the first to host 32 teams, up from 24 at France 2019.

“We believe that our proven ability to deliver the Women’s World Cup 2023 is a key strength of our bid,” Football Federation Australia president Chris Nikou said.

“Our world-class infrastructure, modern stadia, high-quality football facilities in both Australia and New Zealand, and major event hosting experience ensure certainty in delivering the first 32-team Fifa Women’s World Cup.

“From operational excellence, record-breaking crowds, commercial success, strong government support, a warm embrace from our 200 diverse cultures to a genuine profound legacy across the Asia-Pacific region, Australia-New Zealand offers certainty in uncertain times, as well as impact.”

New Zealand Football president Joanna Wood said the joint bid’s ability to bring together two football confederations – Asia and Oceania – presented an opportunity for women’s football.

“Our proposal offers Fifa a ground-breaking approach to hosting its greatest women’s tournament,” Wood said.

“We are two nations from two confederations, united in proposing a historic and exciting step forward for world football.

“We will be a tournament of firsts. The first ever co-confederation hosted 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.”

South Korea and South Africa dropped out of the bidding in December.

AAP

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