[Image: Octavio Passos/Stringer/Getty Images]
Australia will bid to host the world’s largest and most prestigious women’s sporting event – the FIFA Women’s World Cup – in 2023.
The announcement was made by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP and Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman Steven Lowy AM in the Great Hall at Parliament House, Canberra with the support of the Federal Minster for Sport, The Hon Greg Hunt MP and The Federal Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash.
The Australian Federal Government also announced that they will provide FFA with financial support in the form of initial funding to the value of $1 million with the balance of $4m to be granted following fulfillment of designated criteria and milestones.
Speaking at the announcement, FFA Chairman Steven Lowy was excited by the prospect of Australia once again hosting a major FIFA tournament. The most recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, in Canada in 2015, saw a total match attendance of 1.35 million and a global television audience of 764 million with more than 80 million viewers in China and more than 60 million viewers in the United States.
“This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women’s sport globally,” said Mr Lowy. “We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself.”
The Matildas, who are currently ranked 8th in the world and have been ranked as high as 5th, would have a real chance of winning the coveted trophy on home soil.
“The benefits to Australia are many and varied with major economic impact to the wider community and, most importantly, a massive increase in exposure and investment in Women’s Football.
“A FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to take up the biggest participation sport in Australia, for many with the dream of winning the World Cup on home soil.”
“I would like to personally thank the Prime Minister and his Parliamentary colleagues for their support thus far. Once FIFA officially announces the bidding process, we intend to make a compelling argument for Australia to be granted hosting rights for this prestigious event.
“We know that this will be a challenging process, but we believe that we have the expertise and world class facilities to host a fantastic tournament,” concluded Lowy.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the ultimate competition in women’s football and is held every four years. The last tournament was held in Canada in 2015 and the next will be held in 2019 in France.
The 2023 tournament would see 24 teams compete over 52 matches, hosted across a number of locations.