The SA LFootball Association has conveyed their well wishes to both Australia and New Zealand, who were yesterday (Thursday, 25 June 2020) named by FIFA as hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The joint bid was selected ahead of the only other contestant – Colombia, followed the withdrawal of both Japan and Brazil earlier this month.
The tournament has previously featured 24 nations, but for the first time in the women’s game, the 2023 version will host 32 countries.
The competition is scheduled to take place from July to August 2023.
“This is no mean feat what Australia and New Zealand have achieved – many will remember our disappointment in trying to host the men’s version of 2006, but the joy of getting the nod to prepare the 2010 far more surpasses what we went through. So with that, I would like to say that today we share in the joy of Australia and New Zealand being selected as hosts and we are very confident that they will do a great job – which by the way has already started, and now leading to 2023 are the finishing touches,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.
“We also know that an event like this also brings the country together more than anything else. So the best of luck to them, and we will see them in 2023 with our beloved Banyana Banyana.”
The Chairperson of Women’s Football and also member of the SAFA National Executive Committee, Emma Hendricks, echoed his words.
“This is good news coming during these trying times of the Coronavirus pandemic when we are not even certain when national team football will resume. This is a welcome shining light for football, women’s football in particular,” said Hendricks.
“We would like to convey our congratulations to both Australia and New Zealand – this is a big ask for any nation to host 32 countries for a tournament of this magnitude but I have a strong belief that they will pull it off and lead the way for many more to follow.”
Also adding her voice was Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
“This is an historic moment for women’s football to have two countries selected to jointly host the Women’s World Cup, and a further history making feat that there will be 32 nations for the first time in the tournament. All we can say is congratulations to Australia and New Zealand, go out and celebrate but remember that there is a lot of hard work ahead for you to make this a memorable even.” Said Ellis.
“We have tasted how it feels like to play in the Women’s World Cup and we can tell you now we are going to do everything in our power to ensure that we are there with you in 2023. All the best with your preparations.”
FIFA’s technical evaluation of each bid put Colombia at 2.8 out of 5.0, while Australia and New Zealand was marked 4.1.
The Australia and New Zealand bid received 22 of the 35 votes cast by the Fifa Council members, with Colombia getting 13 votes.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino said: “The bidding process was highly competitive. We would like to thank both of the bidders for their remarkable work. It was really, really well prepared.”
Infantino also suggested the women’s tournament could be staged every two years and is keen for South America and Africa to stage it.
Australia and New Zealand have proposed to stage matches at up to eight grounds in Australia:
Stadium Australia, Sydney (the final), capacity: 70,000
Sydney Football Stadium, capacity: 42,512
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, capacity: 30,052
Brisbane Stadium, capacity: 52,263
Perth Rectangular Stadium, capacity: 22,225
Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, capacity: 18,435
Newcastle Stadium, capacity: 25,945
York Park, Launceston, Tasmania, capacity: 22,065.
And five stadiums in New Zealand:
Eden Park, Auckland (opening game), capacity: 48,276
Wellington Stadium, capacity: 39,000
Christchurch Stadium, capacity: 22,556
Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, capacity: 25,111
Dunedin Stadium, capacity: 28,744
RELATED STORY: Australia and New Zealand win race to host Women’s World Cup