FIFA announced on Thursday that Australia and New Zealand have been selected to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, defeating Colombia in a vote of the ruling council.
This is the first time Australia or New Zealand has hosted either the men’s or women’s World Cup. Sam Kerr, Chelsea star and captain of the Australian national team, tweeted her excitement.
Voting was more dramatic than expected. Japan withdrew its bid less than a week before the vote, seemingly strengthening the Australia/New Zealand case. But ESPN reported that 12 votes were still being fought over, including those from the African bloc, which has few commercial or political ties to either Colombia or Australia/New Zealand. The North American votes were also up for grabs.
Australia and New Zealand ended up receiving 22 of the FIFA council’s 35 votes, with the CONMEBOL (South America) and UEFA (Europe) blocs leaning toward Colombia.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be expanded from 24 to 32 teams, an increase that was voted on last summer. The United States has won the last two Women’s World Cups, including last summer’s edition in France.
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