It was announced early that Qatar would host the 2022 Men’s World Cup. However, people were still waiting to hear about the Women’s World Cup. It was announced Thursday that Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
In a vote, Australia and New Zealand won against Columbia. The FIFA Council voted 22-13 for Australia and New Zealand. Although that is a large difference, it seemed like a close race. There were originally four countries up for bid. However, Japan and Brazil dropped out since they have been hit hard economically with the pandemic. This led to 12 undecided votes.
Columbia met the minimum requirements to host the World Cup. However, they were having to ask for an investment to help with infrastructure and commerce. There was a large risk if the country was not able to carry out the promise. However, Australia and New Zealand have that available already.
The only problem for FIFA is trying to figure out how to play between the two countries. They will have to strategically plan the event to ensure teams aren’t traveling back and forth like crazy. But both countries exploded with joy over the news since they have never hosted a World Cup before.
During the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, they beat their audience record. There was an outstanding 1.2 billion people who tuned in to watch the games. Due to its popularity, FIFA president Gianni Infantino expanded the competition to 32 teams. In the last Women’s World Cup there were only 24 teams allowed to play.
Infantino says that this can be “the best World Cup ever.”
“It’s not just a Women’s World Cup, it’s a World Cup,” Infantino added.
He wants the Women’s sport to continue to grow. For the Women’s World Cup, the governing body is the FIFA Council that comprises of 35 members. For the Men’s World Cup, the FIFA Congress oversees it with 211 members. Infantino says that “it doesn’t make sense” that the two bodies have different voting rights. He wants to change this in the future as women’s soccer continues to grow.
Another upside to Australia and New Zealand hosting is how it will continue growing the popularity.
“As the first joint (and cross-confederation) bid to host a FIFA Women’s World Cup, it also offers the opportunity for unity and cooperation with a view to boosting the development of the women’s game across the Asia-Pacific region — which would be hosting the tournament for the first time,” the report said.
“A joint bid, however, can also be a more complex undertaking, since it requires the management of cross-border components for the delivery of the event.”
It will be exciting to see how Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup as the first joint bid.