June 25 – Odds-on favourites Australia and New Zealand won the right today to stage the 2023 women’s World Cup, beating outsiders Colombia in a two-horse race to make history by bringing the tournament to the southern hemisphere for the first time.
The joint Australasian bid won by 22 votes to 13 in the first ballot but had to do it without any support from Europe whose nine Fifa Council members voted en bloc for the South Americans despite the fact that they were placed far behind in the official technical evaluation report.
The tournament will be the first women’s World Cup to feature 32 teams and also the first to be hosted by countries from different confederations, Australia being part of the Asian Football Confederation and New Zealand the biggest member of Oceania despite their geographical proximity.
Although Colombia tightened the race as the decision drew close, in the end they couldn’t garner enough support outside of Uefa to upset the odds.
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