Australia and New Zealand are set to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The historic decision marks the first time the tournament will be co-hosted across two confederations — the Asian Football Confederation, which Australia is a part of, and the Oceania Football Confederation, where New Zealand is a member. The tournament will also be the first to be held in the Asia-Pacific region.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said awarding joint hosting rights is a “landmark decision for women’s sport” in their respective nations and throughout the entire region.
“This is a huge positive for the footballing and sporting industries on both sides of the Tasman as we recover and rebuild from COVID-19,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “As sporting nations, we have had a long history of producing some of the best female footballers in the world, and this tournament will further inspire our next generation and provide the platform for them to compete on the world stage.”
Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou echoed their comments.
"Our pledge to the FIFA family is that no stone will be left unturned to produce the best World Cup and grow the women's game globally and in the Asia-Pacific region," he told FIFA.
Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2023 Women's World Cup, FIFA announces. The tournament, scheduled to begin on July 10, 2023, will be played across eight stadiums in Australia and five in New Zealand. https://t.co/7WdqJ5d33P— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 25, 2020
The announcement comes less than a year after the Australian women’s soccer team, the Westfield Matildas, secured a deal that ensured equal pay to the top Australian men’s side, the Caltex Socceroos.
Alongside an equal split of all commercial revenue with the Socceroos, the Matildas secured the same level of coaching and admin support. They are now also able to fly business class for international travel — a luxury long-experienced by the Socceroos.
Similarly, in May of 2018, New Zealand’s national soccer program pledged equal pay between its national men’s team, the All Whites, and the women’s teams, the Football Ferns. The two teams now also receive equal prize money, rights for image use and travel budgets.
FIFA has worked to reform gender inequality issues in sport and highlight women's rights overall in recent years.
Earlier this year, the federation launched its third campaign alongside the World Health Organization and the European Commission to safeguard women and children from domestic violence amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“Together with the World Health Organization and the European Commission, we are asking the football community to raise awareness to this intolerable situation that threatens particularly women and children in their own home, a place where they should feel happy, safe and secure,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a media release. “We cannot stay silent on this issue that negatively affects so many people. Violence has no place in homes, just as it has no place in sports.
The campaign revolves around five #SafeHome videos, which offer practical advice and support for dealing with violence while socially-distancing at home with violent family members.
Fifteen former and current players from around the world have backed the campaign.