Australia’s bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup is shaping to be a joint bid with New Zealand.
The success of this year’s tournament in France resulted in Fifa expanding the 2023 edition from 24 teams to 32 and on Tuesday FFA chairman Chris Nikou said that due to the increased demand for venues a dual bid is being discussed, with a resolution expected in coming days.
“We’re still in dialogue with New Zealand and a decision will be made shortly as the bid book is due on December 13,” Nikou said. “We’ve had really constructive dialogue with Football New Zealand and we have a great relationship.
“A dual bid makes sense – the competition going from 24 countries to 32 means we need to go from six to eight venues to eight to 10 … it’s certainly a possibility.”
Victoria on Tuesday joined three other states in committing to the bid, offering up AAMI Park for the tournament. Victorian Minster for Sport Martin Pakula said the June-July timing of the tournament meant that no AFL venues, including the MCG, would be available. That means a final would likely be played in Sydney.
“I don’t think we’re the only city in Australia where ground availability is challenging,” he said. “You have to provide almost exclusive access to the World Cup for a number of weeks.”
Pakula said that there had already been discussions with AAMI Park’s winter sports custodians, Melbourne Storm and Melbourne Rebels.
Australia and New Zealand jointly hosted the 2015 Cricket World Cup and 1987 Rugby World Cup. A decision on the Women’s World Cup hosts for 2023 will be made by Fifa in May next year.