In a joint announcement between the Australian government and the football association, the country formally declared their interest to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup. And their odds of landing it are high. The national side is currently ranked eighth in the world and has consistently performed on the global stage, making it to the quarterfinals in each of the last three World Cups.
If awarded the tournament, Australia would become the first host in the southern hemisphere. While bidding is just starting, they face little competition so far. New Zealand and Thailand are too small, and Columbia, although interested, currently does not have a professional women’s league (a FIFA requirement).
Japan had wanted to host the 2019 World Cup, but instead delayed their proposal due to conflicts with the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Currently ranked sixth in the FIFA standings, Japan will likely create a battle of two for the 2023 rights, as both reside within the Asian Federation.
“This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women’s sport globally. We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself,” Football Federation Australia Chairman Steven Lowy said.
— Sky News Sport (@SkyNewsSport) June 13, 2017
The Australian government was on hand to pledge its support and $5 million toward the bid. The tournament would go a long ways in raising the profile of both the national team as well as the domestic league. Running during the winter months for North America and Europe, many players from the NWSL, Women’s Super League (UK) and Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga (Germany) play their during their primary off-season.
The 2019 Women’s World Cup will be hosted by France, with qualification beginning this past April for some nations. CONCACAF qualifying for the tournament will take place at a regional tournament next year.