November 20 – Australia’s bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup may become an Antipodean bid with New Zealand joining to spread the logistics requirements and making it a cross-confederation bid.
If awarded it would be the first ever FIFA competition to be co-hosted by two national federations from two different confederations (Australia is an AFC member, though was formerly a member of the OFC with New Zealand).
FFA chairman Chris Nikou confirmed that due to the increased demand for venues a dual bid is being discussed, with a resolution expected in the coming days. After the success of last summer’s World Cup in France, won by the United States, FIFA fast tracked an expansion of the 2023 iteration from 24 teams to 32 and that decision has impacted bidding countries who had originally expressed interest in hosting before the expansion to 32 nations.
“We’re still in dialogue with New Zealand and a decision will be made shortly as the bid book is due on December 13,” said Nikou.
“We’ve had really constructive dialogue with Football New Zealand and we have a great relationship. A dual bid makes sense – the competition going from 24 countries to 32 means we need to go from six to eight venues to eight to 10 … it’s certainly a possibility.”
Three states and Victoria have declared their commitment to the bid. “I don’t think we’re the only city in Australia where ground availability is challenging,” said Victorian Minster for Sport Martin Pakula. “You have to provide almost exclusive access to the World Cup for a number of weeks.”
In the past Australia and New Zealand have co-hosted major sporting events, notably the 2015 Cricket World Cup and the 1987 Rugby World Cup.
FIFA will award the hosting rights for the 2023 Women’s World Cup next year.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1603884015labto1603884015ofdlr1603884015owedi1603884015sni@o1603884015fni1603884015