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Australia and New Zealand named to host 2023 Women's World Cup

Published on: 25 June 2020

Australia and New Zealand have won the bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup after beating Colombia in the vote by the FIFA Council.

The two countries won the right to co-host the flagship women's football competition by beating the South American country 22-13 in the vote held on Thursday.

Initially, there were four bids to host the 2023 tournament but both Japan and Brazil dropped out before the final vote citing the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

The vote by the FIFA Council will now give the joint bid the right to host the top women sides in the world in the tournament which is being expanded to 32 teams.

"We did it. We freaking did it," Chelsea and Matildas star Sam Kerr said on Twitter after the announcement.

"I'm lost for words and want to say congratulations to Australia and New Zealand on this amazing achievement," Socceroos legend Tim Cahill added on his Twitter.

Japan dropping out was seen as a boost to the joint bid from Australia and New Zealand.

The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand ranked highest in FIFA's technical evaluations, while Colombia ranked the lowest of the three bids evaluated.

The level of infrastructure and commercial opportunities was highlighted in the report as an advantage for the joint bid but there were concerns over the logistics of hosting a tournament across the two countries.

"As the first joint (and cross-confederation) bid to host a FIFA Women's World Cup, it also offers the opportunity for unity and cooperation with a view to boosting the development of the women's game across the Asia-Pacific region -- which would be hosting the tournament for the first time," the report said.

"A joint bid, however, can also be a more complex undertaking, since it requires the management of cross-border components for the delivery of the event."

Colombia met the minimum requirements for hosting a tournament but "would need a significant amount of investment and support" before it would be ready to host the tournament, according to the FIFA report.

The governing body also stated there would be "clear risks that the necessary improvements would not be carried out" in time for the tournament.

Neither Australia or New Zealand have ever hosted a World Cup. In 2010, Australia made a bid to host the 2022 World Cup -- which will be held in Qatar -- but were eliminated in the first round after receiving just one vote.

The 2019 World Cup in France was hailed as a watershed for global interest in the women's game with record breaking audiences of 1.2 billion people tuning in over the month-long event.

The final, which saw the U.S. women's national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 and win their fourth World Cup, was the most watched Women's World Cup match ever, leading FIFA President Gianni Infantino personally drove the campaign to increase the field to 32 teams from 24 for 2023.

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