The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The winning bid was announced on Thursday during the FIFA Council meeting, with the joint bid edging out Colombia. The Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football joint bid received 22 of the 35 votes in the first ballot to win.
It is the first joint bid from countries in different FIFA confederations. It will also be the first joint bid to host a World Cup since the 2002 men's tournament in South Korea and Japan.
The 2023 Women's World Cup will feature 32 teams for the first time, a change from the 2019 Women's World Cup in France, which was won by the United States national team.
New Zealand and Australia were long viewed as the favorites to win the bid, but that changed a bit in recent days when it was revealed that UEFA's support was turning toward the South American nation. UEFA members had been encouraged to back Colombia's bid according to The Guardian.
Australia and New Zealand's bid consists of 12 host cities and 13 stadiums, the with opener in Auckland, New Zealand and the final in Sydney, Australia. 12 of the 13 stadiums are already built and in us, with the final set for the new Sydney Football Stadium set to be completed in 2022.
FIFA's technical evaluation of the bids scored New Zealand and Australia at 4.1 out of five with Colombia receiving a score of 2.8. In the end, the favorites landed it. The high score for New Zealand and Australia was based on scoring low risk in 16 out of 17 categories that include infrastructure, event services, legal and compliance, human rights and more. Low risk is the best mark you can receive. The Oceania bid only had one medium risk which was legal -- government support documents. The Colombia bid scored low risk in just five of 17 categories, scoring medium in 11 and high risk in one. Colombia scored medium risk in transport, safety and security, health, medical and anti-doping and more. The high risk score was in commercial which consists of organizing costs, expected taxes and financial position.
Japan scored a 3.9 but withdrew their bid earlier this week. The tournament is set to begin in July of 2023 and end in August.
When it comes to the action, many will be wondering what to expect for kickoff times. Sydney, for example, is one hour behind Tokyo. For Americans who remember the 2002 World Cup, matches took place between 1:30 a.m. ET and 7:30 a.m. ET, with most starting before 5 a.m. ET.