Arsenal’s Foord welcomes Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand

Caitlin Foord of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Caitlin Foord of Arsenal (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Arsenal Women’s striker Caitlin Foord welcomed news of the 2023 Women’s World Cup going to Australia and New Zealand.

The joint bid got the nod ahead of Colombia, which was the only other rival in the running after Brazil and Japan dropped out of the race earlier in June.

Australia and New Zealand’s bid received the best score from FIFA’s own evaluation report – 4.1 out of five compared to Colombia’s score of 2.8.

The competition is scheduled to take place from July to August 2023 and will feature 32 teams for the first time, with the bid proposing to use up to eight venues in Australia and five in New Zealand.

The final will be played at the 70,000 seater Stadium Australia in Sydney and Foord told “To have any major football tournament in Australia let alone a World Cup is something Australia has never seen before.

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“I think it will do massive things for the game in Australia for both girls and boys growing up playing football.

“As the years have gone on you can feel Australia has grown to love the Matildas as a team.

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“You see that when we have games at home and we get 18,000 to 20,000 people showing up.”

A tweet from the winning bid’s official Twitter account, @AsOne2023, read: “Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the Women’s World Cup 2023!

“This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne!

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The bidding process was highly competitive. We would like to thank both of the bidders for their remarkable work. It was really, really well prepared.”

The Italian also announced a funding boost for the sport, adding: “We have decided to award $1bn (£805m) to the development of women’s football in the coming four years,”

It will complete a busy year for the Women’s game with the European Championships in England being pushed back until 2022 from 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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