World football governing body FIFA on Saturday announced Australia and New Zealand as the joint hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The joint bid beat a rival proposal from Colombia to host the tournament, the first with will see 32 teams participate.
Japan had also put forward a bid but pulled out on Monday following a FIFA evaluation report that ranked them below the joint proposal.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand will be ground-breaking in many ways,” said a delighted Chris Nikou, president of Football Federation Australia (FFA).
“Not only will it be the first ever co-confederation hosted FIFA World Cup and the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in the Asia-Pacific region, but we will unlock the huge potential for growth in women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The FIFA evaluation report highlighted the infrastructure and organisational advantages of the Australia/New Zealand bid which it noted would make for a commercially successful tournament.
The 2023 World Cup will be the first to host 32 teams, an expansion from the previous 24-team tournament.
Colombia, which had hoped to become the first South American nation to host the continental showpiece, pledged to push to have another World Cup.
“We wanted the seat of the Women’s World Cup 2023 for Colombia and we gave everything to get it,” the country’s sports Ministry wrote on twitter.
“We will work more strongly to bring another World Cup to Colombia. With the efforts of all, women’s soccer (here)…will keep growing.”