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    July 08

  • 06:04 AM

Australia and New Zealand awarded Women’s 2023 Football World Cup

REUTERS,

Added 25 June 2020

sydney-opera-house

The Sydney Opera House lights up in celebration of Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, in Sydney, Australia, June 25, 2020. (Reuters)

MELBOURNE/WELLINGTON – Australian and New Zealand’s women football players let out almighty roars, burst into applause and pumped their fists in celebration in the early hours of Friday after their countries’ joint bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup was confirmed.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino made the announcement at about 3:45 a.m. New Zealand Time on Friday.

Football Ferns Erin Nayler, Hannah Wilkinson and Annalie Longo erupted with joy as they crowded around a laptop watching the video stream.

“It was a long wait,” Wilkinson told TVNZ. “All of this anticipation was filling the room.

“The second he said it, I completely blacked out for a second. Honestly, it was just total joy. This is going to be absolutely amazing and I’m a bit speechless.

“There will be millions watching this. It’s huge.”

The decision continues a strong run for New Zealand securing hosting rights for women’s global sporting events, with the women’s Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup scheduled to be held in the country in 2021.

“The tournament aligns perfectly with our strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation,” Sports Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.

“It presents an amazing opportunity for us to grow female participation, create new female leaders and further raise the visibility of women’s sport.”

Both Football Federation Australia (FFA) and New Zealand Football (NZF) had emphasised the boost that hosting the tournament would provide for the development of the game in the Asian and Oceania Confederations.

“It’s quite incredible for women’s football in our region to secure the Women’s World Cup,” Ros Moriarty, the chair of FFA’s Women’s Football Council told Reuters.

“Asia’s definitely a developmental region for FIFA. There hasn’t been a women’s World Cup in this region or in the southern hemisphere so there’s new ground to be developed here.

“And I think the co-confederation aspect is a big plus. It allows us to reach out to friends in Asia and as well as in Oceania.” (Reuters)

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