Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women’s World Cup after the FIFA Council voted in favour of the trans-Tasman bid over Colombia.
The successful bid received 22 of the 35 valid votes with the South Americans receiving 12.
There have been tears of joy from players and fans as celebrations erupted for the historic sporting moment for the two countries.
“WE DID IT!” Matildas superstar Sam Kerr posted on Twitter.
“Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the @FIFAWWC 2023!
“This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne!
“We stand ready to welcome the world and deliver the best ever.”
The Sydney Opera House lit up in celebration as the decision was announced just before 2am.
The three words “we did it” were repeated over and over again on social media.
“Australia and New Zealand have been granted the honour of hosting the @FIFAWWC 2023! This landmark decision is a moment for everyone to celebrate #AsOne,” the official Twitter account for the joint Australia-New Zealand campaign posted.
“We stand ready to welcome the world and deliver the best ever @FIFAWWC.”
The official Matildas account shared the same celebration.
Australia and New Zealand’s bid was bolstered by a technical score of 4.1 points out of five in FIFA’s evaluation report and the event will be the first to be held across two confederations – the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Oceania Football Confederation.
Australia joined forces with New Zealand to submit a joint bid in December and the opening match of the tournament will be played at Eden Park in Auckland with the final to take place in Sydney.
In the evaluation report Australia-New Zealand received higher scores than Colombia in every criteria – stadiums, team and referee facilities, accommodation, International Broadcast Centre (IBC), competition-related event sites and commercial.
This was enough to sway the vote of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
However, Europe’s confederation, UEFA, saw its nine members on the council, including English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke vote for Colombia despite the bid receiving a far inferior technical score in the report.
A UEFA statement read: “Even though the Colombian bid was not the one rated highest technically by FIFA, European members of the FIFA Council felt that it represented a strategic opportunity for the development of women’s football in South America thanks to the legacy and increase of attention for the women’s game that the tournament would bring to the continent.
“It was a choice between two countries – Australia and New Zealand – where women’s football is already strongly established, and a continent where it still has to be firmly implanted and has a huge development potential. It’s important to add that European members of the FIFA Council agreed to vote together on major issues as a matter of solidarity.”
The event will be the first to be held across two confederations – the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Oceania Football Confederation.