In a landslide victory, Australia and New Zealand have won the bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup. They were chosen over sole competitors Colo
In a landslide victory, Australia and New Zealand have won the bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
They were chosen over sole competitors Colombia following a FIFA Council vote on Thursday afternoon (CEST).
It concluded a nervy 24 hours for officials, players, and fans after rumors that Colombia had received a late swell of support from UEFA’s members.
But in the end, Australia and New Zealand’s high-scoring performance in FIFA’s official evaluation report pushed them ahead in the pecking order.
Public and government backing for hosting the World Cup was considerably high, with more than 800,000 people signing up to a campaign to voice their support, while the country’s iconic Sydney Opera House was illuminated on the eve of the vote.
Hosting the tournament is expected to give football – both the women’s and men’s game – a massive boost in both countries. Currently cricket and other football codes (such as rugby union and Australian rules football) lie ahead in terms of popularity.
Australia and New Zealand were heavy favorites after their high score of 4.1 in FIFA’s evaluation report eclipsed Colombia’s score of just 2.8. Competing bids from Brazil and Japan had withdrawn earlier in the month.
But rumors of a late upset flooded media and social channels after reports suggested Colombia had won the support of the UEFA voting bloc.
When the votes were tallied, however, the co-host bid managed to record a 22-13 victory to hand a historic opportunity to Australian and New Zealand football.
Orianica Velasquez felt Colombia deserved to host the Women’s World Cup.
Heartbreak for Colombia
The Colombian bid had hoped that FIFA’s ambition to grow women’s football in South America would help its cause.
Colombia had, for a time, been a frontrunner in promoting the women’s game after setting up Latin America’s first professional women’s league in 2017 and qualifying for two successive World Cups (2011 and 2015) and two Olympic Games (2012 and 2016).
But the state of women’s football has regressed in recent years amid accusations of discrimination. Las Cafeteras failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup in France and the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Colombia international Orianica Velasquez said the country’s players deserved had deserved the opportunity.
“We have great talent and our players have worked hard to get Colombia into different tournaments around the world, even without a solid professional league,” she said.