The joint bid between Australia and New Zealand to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup received a massive boost, with soccer’s governing body rating it the best of the remaining three bids. The joint Australia-New Zealand bid scored 4.1 points out of five, putting them in pole position to host the tournament ahead of Columbia and Japan. The Brazilian Football Confederation withdrew from the race due to the COVID-19 epidemic and threw their support behind Columbia.
The FIFA ruling council are scheduled to vote on June 25 and the Australia-New Zealand bid was voted the “most commercially favourable’ of the three.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman Chris Nikou remained confident that the joint bid will receive a favourable vote on June 25:
“I am delighted that we have scored so strongly in FIFA’s Bid Evaluation Report and been described as offering ‘the most favourable commercial proposition’. We are confident that our combination of technical excellence, record breaking crowds, commercial certainty, a warm embrace from our 200 different cultures and genuine impact across the region where the legacies will be profound will prove a compelling offer to FIFA and its confederations.”
New Zealand Football President Johanna Wood echoed those sentiments:
“We hosted a very successful inspection visit and we are delighted by today’s FIFA Bid Evaluation Report which reinforces our belief that we would host a technically excellent FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”
Japan scored 3.9 and was widely praised amongst the community for the country’s ability to hold major events. Japan hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup and co-hosted the 2002 soccer World Cup with South Korea. Japan had asked for the event to be shifted to June instead of FIFA’s preference of a mid-July start to the 2023 event.
Columbia was given a score of 2.8 points, with significant infrastructure investment still needed to make the event a success.
The winners of the vote in June will host an expanded 32-team event. France hosted the previous World Cup in 2019, won by the United States.