Women’s Football set to reach for the stars after Australia-New Zealand secures the hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Sports fans across Victoria are rejoicing this morning after Australia and New Zealand were awarded the hosting rights to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The decision was made by the 37-member FIFA Council in the early hours of Friday morning, with the Australian-led co-confederation bid securing enough votes to overcome the rival bid from Colombia.
FIFA’s decision is set to unlock unprecedented levels of interest in women’s football and investment in Australian football facilities, whilst allowing the world’s best footballers to showcase their talents in front of what is expected to be the largest worldwide audience for a women’s football event.
“This promises to be one of the biggest events of our lifetime. What it will do for women’s football and for women’s sport in general will blow everyone away,” said Football Victoria Chief Executive Officer Peter Filopoulos.
“It has the power to transform the sporting landscape for both Australia and New Zealand and how we think about sport for generations to come. The Matildas are already Australia’s most loved sports team but this will put the entire sport on a stage it has never known in this country and inspire generations of girls and women to take up the world game.”
“I’d like to congratulate the FFA for coordinating such a wonderful bid, especially bid leader Jane Fernandez, chief executive James Johnson and chairman Chris Nikou. I’d also like to congratulate the team at New Zealand Football for playing their part in a joint Trans-Tasman effort that will surely bring our nations even closer together.”
Karen Pearce, Executive Manager Growth and Inclusion at Football Victoria said hosting the 2023 Women’s World Cup would give the game an exceptional boost.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for football in Australia. It will turbocharge the participation of women and girls in football in a way we’ve never seen before as we have set the bold target of reaching gender balance by 2027 as a sport,” she said.
“We are already the sport of choice for hundreds and thousands of women and girls and the opportunity to have the pinnacle of the sport played on our doorstep is going to create a movement that will sweep up the entire country.”
“In 2019 alone, we saw a 50 per cent growth in terms of women and girls’ participation, but with this announcement, we’re now expecting those numbers to soar for years to come.”
Football Victoria has already secured preliminary approval for the ‘Home of the Matildas’ facility, with stage one due to be completed in 2023 - in time to host the Matildas as they prepare for the biggest tournament of their lives.
The ‘Home of the Matildas’ is a two-stage project being led by Football Victoria and the Victorian Government, with the backing of the Federal Government and Football Federation Australia.
Already, $15 million has been committed by the Federal Government to the first stage of the project, with the remainder aimed to be secured from the Victorian Government.
“Victoria is Australia’s home of sport and the Matildas are going to have a world class home, right here in Melbourne,” Filopoulos said. “Our ambition is to have the best women’s football facility in Asia and to make it the envy of the football world.”
“We have received great support from the Victoria Government, led by the Premier Dan Andrews and the Minister for Sport, Martin Pakula, during every step of the journey and I know they want the facility to be one all Victorians can be proud of.”
“We’re now in the process of narrowing down potential site options and with the support of the Victorian Government, I believe we are on track to create something special for generations of female footballers.”