Canberra, June 13: Australia will bid to host the world’s largest and most prestigious women’s sporting event – the FIFA Women’s World Cup - in 2023. With the government committing to fund the campaign, Australia is set to host globally largest and competitive contest in women’s sport.
"This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women's sport globally," Football Federation Australia Chairman Steven Lowy said at Parliament House. "We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself." Lowy further added that the most recent Women's World Cup, in Canada in 2015, generated a total match attendance of 1.35 million spectators and a global television audience of 764 million.
"The benefits to Australia are many and varied with major economic impact to the wider community and, most importantly, a massive increase in exposure and investment in women's football," he said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia's history of successfully holding major sports events meant it was well-placed to host the football showpiece. "We are recognized internationally for our sporting achievements and for showcasing some of the biggest sporting events in the world and when we do, we do it triumphantly, we do it successfully, we do it to great acclaim," he said in officially launching the bid.
The government plans to commit $5 million Australian dollars ($3.75 million) to the bid if Australia is considered by FIFA to be a reasonable contender, including an initial $1 million Australian dollar ($750,000) grant to kick off the process. A successful bid would make Australia the first southern hemisphere country to host the event. The Australian women's team, the Matildas, is No. 8 in the world rankings.
The United States has won three of the seven Women's World Cups to date, including the first in 1991 and the most recent in 2015, with a 5-2 win over 2011 champion Japan. China and the United States have hosted the tournament twice, along with Sweden (1995) and Germany (2011). The next edition will be staged in France in 2019.