It is official, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosts will be Australia and New Zealand according to mlssoccer.com. This is the first time that the two countries are co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It is also the first time that two countries from different FIFA Confederations are hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The “Matildas” (formerly known as the Female Socceroos) Australian women’s soccer team and the “Football Ferns” New Zealand women’s soccer team also had some success in the World Cup and the Olympics.
Both Australia and New Zealand played in the Asian Confederation before the first-ever Oceania cup was played in 1983. In the mid-2000’s Australia moved back to the AFC confederation from OFC. Both co-host nations of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup have been to three Summer Olympics. They are both set to make their fourth Olympic appearance in the Tokyo Olympics.
The 2023 FIFA World Cup Hosts: Australia and New Zealand
The Australians are the highest-ranked team from Asia. According to the current FIFA rankings, they are ranked seventh in the world. They have made seven appearances in the Oceania Cup, winning it three times in 1994, 1998, and 2003. The Australians moved back to Asia in 2006.
That same year they hosted the 2006 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, where they lost to the Chinese women’s soccer team in the final via penalty kicks. However, the Australians would win their first AFC Women’s Asian Cup against North Korea via penalties in 2010.
Australia and Japan have now established themselves as the two best teams in Asia. Japan has defeated Australia in the last two AFC Women’s Asian Cup. They also won one AFF Women’s Championship in 2008, which is part of the ASEAN Football Federation. This tournament was contested by national teams of nations in Southeast Asia.
The Australians did not qualify for the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, since 1995, they have made seven straight FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances. The “Matildas” made the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals in 2007, 2011, and 2015. This includes losing to rivals Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.
Lastly, the “Matildas” made three appearances in the Olympics. Their first Olympic appearance in 2000 was held in Sydney, Australia, which made the “Matildas” the host nation. They finished last in the group stage in 2000.
Their best performance in the Olympics was in 2004 and 2016. On both occasions, the Australians got past the group stage and made the quarterfinals. However, Australia lost both times in the quarterfinals. This includes a tough loss to the 2016 Summer Olympics host Brazil in penalties. A noticeable player who plays for Australia is Samantha Kerr.
New Zealand will be the other host nation in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. According to FIFA.com, they are ranked 23rd in the world. The team currently called the “Football Ferns” has a deep and rooted history in women’s soccer. At one point, New Zealand had a better national team than Australia. In 1975, New Zealand won the first-ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup (then known as the AFC Women’s Championship).
They were also the first-ever winners of the OFC Women’s Nation Cup in 1983. New Zealand also won the 1991 OFC Women’s Nation’s Cup. This allowed New Zealand to enter the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991. They would not make it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup again until 2007, mainly due to Australia. Since 2007, New Zealand has made four appearances in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The “Football Ferns” have not won a game so far in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Their highest position in the FIFA Women’s World Cup was 11th in the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
However, they have proven they can win against quality opponents in the Summer Olympics. In 2012, where they made the quarterfinals, they defeated Cameroon in the group stage. They would also win another group stage game in 2016, defeating Colombia. New Zealand has made three Olympic appearances including their first-ever appearance in 2008. They will be looking to do the same in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and get their first-ever win at FIFA Women’s World Cup.
They have produced some quality players. One noticeable player who plays for New Zealand is Hannah Wilkinson.
Overview of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Both New Zealand and Australia have hosted OFC Women’s Nations Cups. In addition, Australia has also hosted one AFC Women’s Championship. However, this Women’s World Cup is probably the biggest tournament both nations have hosted. The only comparable one was 2000 when Sydney were the hosts of the Summer Olympics. Even then it is different. The 2023 Women’s World Cup will have several cities in Australia hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Australia and New Zealand Venues for the World Cup
In May 2020, there were four bids to host in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, in June 2020, Brazil and Japan withdrew their applications. This meant there were only two bids for the 2020 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This was the joint Australian-New Zealand and the Colombia bid. The Australia/New Zealand bid won on Thursday, becoming the host city.
According to the Bid Book submitted to FIFA, there are seven Australian and five New Zealand cities that will or could host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In New Zealand, the five cities are Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin.
This is while in Australia there are seven cities that listed to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. These cities are Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Launceston, and Adelaide. Sydney is the only city that plans to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in more than one venue.
— Reuters India (@ReutersIndia) June 26, 2020
The top-league in Australia is called the W-League. The W-League has been Australia’s top league since 2008. The league started off with eight teams, with seven of them having an affiliation with the A-League. They currently have nine teams in the W-League. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, their top-flight league is called the National Women’s League. They were founded in 2002 and currently has seven teams in the league.
Congrats to Australia and New Zealand, who are the co-hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.