FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ is a tournament of firsts: the global women’s football showpiece has been expanded from 24 teams to 32 and it will also be the first-ever FIFA tournament to be held across two confederations (the AFC and OFC).
This tournament will be a major milestone in the development of women’s football.
Experienced sporting hosts
It may be the first time that a FIFA World Cup has been held in Australia and New Zealand, but the competition is in safe hands, as both countries boast a proud history of delivering major global sporting events, including Rugby World Cups, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and numerous FIFA tournaments.
“We believe we have been given a treasure, and we will look after that treasure. We will work towards putting women’s football even more front and centre on the world stage.”
In line with FIFA's new operational model, a local subsidiary, with offices in Australia and New Zealand, was established in 2021. The local and central teams have been working successfully together meeting with key stakeholders, conducting inspections, and preparing for the world's greatest gathering of women's football.
FIFA also announced in May that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 would be held from 20 July to 20 August, with the opening match taking place at Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau’s Eden Park and the final to be played in Sydney / Gadigal at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The expanded FIFA Women’s World Cup will be taking place across nine venues; five in Australia and four in New Zealand, with an average capacity of 44,000, meaning more people will be able to watch the pinnacle of women’s football in person than ever before.
Sydney Football Stadium is being renovated for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and is on track, with the first seats having been installed in October 2021.
The other eight stadiums all boast the very latest technology and are spread across the two host countries to allow visiting teams and fans to experience the rich diversity that Australia and New Zealand have to offer.
In September 2021, FIFA revealed an exciting and bold new brand identity and emblem for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 that incorporates the vibrant local landscapes and rich colours of the two hosts, building a palette based on the rainforests, earth, mountains, cities and water of the two countries.
A radial motif featuring 32 colourful squares – celebrating the new expansion to 32 participating nations, and an element commonly seen across the indigenous cultures of Australia and New Zealand – was a prominent part of the design.
The brand identity slogan – Beyond Greatness – captures FIFA’s aims for women’s football and the expansion of the tournament from 24 to 32 teams.
Seminar for female referees and VARs
FIFA welcomed 25 candidates from four confederations toa female referees and VARs seminar in Qatar in October, as preparations began for officiating at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023. The candidates were put through their paces every day both in the classroom and on the training pitch, with a particular focus on VAR. Although VAR was used for the first time at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed further progress and the training will be crucial for the world’s top female referees to get up to speed.
“FIFA is doing something great in terms of promoting women’s football in general. The attention given to promoting women’s football is enormous. Refereeing is part of football, so we are also doing everything to improve the quality of refereeing in women’s competitions.”
Lasting legacy in the Pacific
The first-ever senior FIFA tournament to be held in Oceania offers a unique opportunity to provide impetus to local women’s football and leave a lasting legacy in the region.
In July 2021, the OFC launched its first Women’s Football Strategy aimed at providing guidance and purpose to all 11 member associations in the region.
With the focus on visibility and culture, the OFC also appointed a Women’s Football Ambassador and a full-time Women’s Football Development Officer in each country.
Qualification process in full flow
With the expansion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup to 32 teams, more female players than ever are dreaming of strutting their stuff on the world’s biggest stage. Over 150 qualification matches have already taken place and the competition will only intensify in 2022.
“I have always wanted to be a role model to young girls in my region since I was little, so this being an OFC ambassador is like a dream come true. (I can help) young girls set their own standards of achieving their goals, not just in this beautiful game, but in life.”