FFA targets 2023 Women’s World Cup under strategic plan

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has revealed it will bid to host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup as part of a long-term strategic plan to boost the future of football in the country.

The 20-year Whole of Football Plan (WOFP) is the result of a large-scale consultation with the Australian football community and major stakeholders. More than 20,000 people joined an online survey and hundreds attended community forums, while the sport’s various leaders and commercial partners offered individual feedback.

Having analysed the results, the FFA has identified a number of key long-term projections for the WOFP, such as increasing Australia’s football community to a 15 million-strong base by 2035 and widening the pool of young Australian male and female players aged 12 to 19 for selection in future national team competitions to 3,000.

The WOFP also includes plans for Australia to submit a bid to host the 2023 edition of the Women’s World Cup. Hosting rights for the 2019 competition were awarded to France in March, ahead of a rival bid from South Korea.

Confirmation of the FFA's intention to bid for 2023 comes ahead of this year’s World Cup, which will take place in Canada from June 6 until July 5. Australia will make its sixth appearance in the finals having/finished second in Group A of the Asian Football Confederation’s 2014 Women’s Asian Cup competition.

FFA chief executive David Gallop said: “Football is on a mission to become the largest and most popular sport in Australia. It’s a bold idea, but now is the time for the Australian football community to bring it to life.

“The WOFP gives everyone in football a long-term view of what the game needs to do in order to fulfil its potential and reach its destiny. We have a firm conviction that football’s best years are ahead of us. We know that growth will inevitably bring greater revenues and new incomes streams, enough to fund the future.”