Australia and New Zealand have won the bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, football’s global governing body announced on Thursday.
The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand beat Colombia 23-12 in the final voting for the tournament which FIFA plans to expand from 24 to 32 teams.
“The joint bid submitted by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football received 22 of the 35 valid votes cast by the FIFA Council members in the first ballot, with the Colombian Football Association having obtained 13 votes,” FIFA said in a statement.
Brazil and Japan, the other two contenders, pulled out from the final vote citing financial constraints arising due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m lost for words and want to say congratulations to Australia and New Zealand on this amazing achievement,” Australia football legend Tim Cahill posted on Twitter after the official confirmation.
The 2023 tournament is set to be the first 32-team women’s World Cup, up from the 24 nations who competed at last year’s finals in France, won by the United States which was also the most-watched women’s world cup match in history.
Apart from being the first-ever edition that will see participation from 32 teams, the 2023 world cup will also be the first-ever to be hosted across two confederations – Asian Football Confederation and Oceania Football Confederation.