Australia and New Zealand to host 2023 Women's World Cup
Last Updated: 25/06/20 10:14pm
Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women's World Cup after being selected ahead of Colombia.
The joint bid was chosen by the council of football's world governing body FIFA, which met on Thursday afternoon.
Australia and New Zealand's bid received the best score from FIFA's own evaluation report - 4.1 out of five - compared to Colombia's score of 2.8.
Colombia was the only remaining rival bid following the withdrawal of Brazil and Japan earlier this month.
The FIFA report described the joint bid as being the most favourable from a commercial perspective.
The 2023 finals will feature 32 teams for the first time, with the bid proposing to use up to eight venues in Australia and five in New Zealand.
The 2023 tournament will be the first Women's World Cup to feature 32 teams, up from 24 at the 2019 tournament, and is expected to be staged from July to August.
The tournament is due to be played in July and August 2023, and will complete a busy 12 months for the women's game, with the Euros taking place in England the summer before.
That tournament was originally scheduled for 2021, but was put back after the men's Euro 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
WE DID IT!— AsOne2023 (@AsOne2023) June 25, 2020
Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the @FIFAWWC 2023!
This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne!
We stand ready to welcome the world and deliver the best ever @FIFAWWC 🇦🇺⚽️🇳🇿 pic.twitter.com/L5zstNwIUP
A tweet from the winning bid's official Twitter account, @AsOne2023, read: "Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the Women's World Cup 2023!
"This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne!
"We stand ready to welcome the world and deliver the best ever Women's World Cup."
It will also be the first time the tournament has been staged in the southern hemisphere and the only World Cup, men's or women's, to be hosted across two confederations - Asia and Oceania.
FIFA surprised by lack of European support
FA chairman Greg Clarke and the other eight European members of the FIFA Council voted against Australia and New Zealand to host the 2023 Women's World Cup on Thursday despite it rating as by far the best technical bid.
The joint bid gained 22 of the votes from the 35 eligible council members to win the right to host the finals in three years' time, but all nine delegates from Europe, including Clarke and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, gave their vote to Colombia.
It was a move which "surprised" FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who said: "Those technical reports have to mean something."
UEFA released the following statement as the voting results were published: "Even though the Colombian bid was not the one rated highest technically by FIFA, European members of the FIFA Council felt that it represented a strategic opportunity for the development of women's football in South America thanks to the legacy and increase of attention for the women's game that the tournament would bring to the continent.
"It was a choice between two countries - Australia and New Zealand - where women's football is already strongly established, and a continent where it still has to be firmly implanted and has a huge development potential. It's important to add that European members of the FIFA Council agreed to vote together on major issues as a matter of solidarity."
Infantino welcomed the decision of the Council to take the World Cup to Australia and New Zealand, suggesting that "events" were big drivers in women's football and that World Cups could happen every two years instead of every four in the future.
Infantino said: "We have seen what works with women's football is the event - events are working. So we need to foster these kind of competitions all over the world."