Queensland’s minister for innovation and tourism industry development Kate Jones has announced support for Australia’s bid to host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, and pledged A$11m (€10m/$6.8m) in funding if it succeeds.
The funding offer is conditional on Queensland hosting nine games and the final being played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
“The Matildas (the Australian women’s national team) captured the attention of the world at this year’s World Cup in France. But there is nothing like playing on home soil,” Jones said.
“To give the Matildas the chance to play in Queensland would do great things to promote gender equality and encourage more women and girls into sport in our state.”
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said: “This will secure an outstanding legacy for female sport in Queensland and Australia, powering FFA’s drive towards Gender Equality in Football.”
The FFA has received A$5m in funding from the Australian government to prepare a bid. The state governments of New South Wales and Victoria have also publicly confirmed their support.
Eight candidates remain in the running to host the 2023 World Cup. – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and a potential joint bid from North and South Korea. Belgium and Bolivia dropped out in early September after Fifa announced the tournament would expand from 24 to 32 teams.
Fifa has sent bidding and hosting documents to the eight federations, who must submit their final, detailed bid plans by December 13. The candidates will face an evaluation in January and February next year, with a Fifa Council vote to decide the host set for May. This will give the winning nation just over three years to prepare.
After this year’s successful tournament in France, Fifa fast-tracked the process of expanding the 2023 edition to 32 teams. The body’s chief women’s football officer, Sarai Bareman, explained to SportBusiness that the decision aligned with its goal of “increased playing opportunities for the women’s game all over the world.”