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2023 Women’s World Cup Is Heading To The Land Of Sam Kerr And Hobbits

The FIFA Council voted a joint bid by Australia and New Zealand as the 2023 Women's World Cup host on Thursday.

A joint bid from Australia and New Zealand was voted the 2023 Women's World Cup host by the FIFA Council on Thursday.

The Australia-New Zealand bid was a heavy favorite to win the hosting rights after Brazil and Japan both pulled out in the weeks leading up to the vote. Colombia was the only other nation vying to become the 2023 Women's World Cup host.

The Australia-New Zealand bid received 22 out of the 35 valid votes on the first ballot, with Colombia receiving the remaining 13 (two voters recused themselves). FIFA president Gianni Infantino and former U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati both voted for Australia/New Zealand while UEFA president Aleksandr Čeferin voted for Colombia. 

In an effort for transparency, FIFA released all of the votes. FIFA votes for the Women's World Cup host via its Council, which is similar to how the men’s World Cup was voted upon until corruption forced FIFA to change the process to give every federation a single vote. 

Australia and New Zealand received a 4.1 out of five on its FIFA bid evaluation compared to a contested 2.8 given to Colombia. Neither South America nor Australasia have hosted a senior-level World Cup before. 

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will have 32 teams instead of the 24 used as recently as 2019, when France hosted the most-watched Women’s World Cup yet. Australia and New Zealand will hope to live up to and exceed the 2019 tournament.

It should be stated that FIFA never should have allowed the hosting rights for a major tournament like this to be announced just three years before kickoff. The men’s World Cup is usually chosen at least eight years in advance. And while we’re on it, FIFA should either rename the World Cup to “Men’s World Cup” or drop the “Women’s” from Women’s World Cup. 

But Thursday was a day of celebration in Australasia, which will finally host a major World Cup event. The Matildas and Football Ferns are no strangers to the Women’s World Cup and have the star power to bring out local fans and the facilities to welcome in fans from abroad (assuming COVID-19 is under control by 2023). 

Also, New Zealand is the home of hobbits, and Middle Earth seems like a lovely place to take in a Women’s World Cup.

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