Host cities and stadiums for FIFA Women’s World Cup revealed

Details for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 have been confirmed, with nine host cities and 10 stadiums set to host matches for the tournament.

Australia and New Zealand will welcome the world’s best female players in just over two years’ time, which will prove to be an exciting opportunity for both nations – being the first co-hosted FIFA Women’s World Cup and the inaugural tournament to feature 32 teams.

The announcement of the following host cities and stadiums has seen six representatives from Australia and four from New Zealand:

  • Adelaide – Hindmarsh Stadium
  • Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau – Eden Park
  • Brisbane – Brisbane Stadium
  • Dunedin / Ōtepoti – Dunedin Stadium
  • Hamilton / Kirikiriroa – Waikato Stadium
  • Melbourne – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
  • Perth – Perth Rectangular Stadium
  • Sydney – Stadium Australia and Sydney Football Stadium
  • Wellington /  Te Whanganui-a-Tara  – Wellington Stadium

While the exact fixtures are still to be determined, we do know that Eden Park in Auckland has been selected for the opening FIFA Women’s World Cup match, with Stadium Australia in Sydney the destination for the Final.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou was proud to see the latest progress leading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“This is an important day for the sport because now the hard work goes to the next level – it’s a watershed moment,” he said.

“The Women’s World Cup is a tournament like no other – not since the Sydney Olympics with the attention of the world.

“[We’ve seen] an increase in gross domestic product of $320 billion, over one million spectators & audience, 400,000 more women & girls playing our sport – as we work with our member federations on equality of participation by 2027.

“[There’s also] 6,000 upskilled people, 3,000 new jobs and 16,000 Indigenous community contacts internationally.”

Westfield Matilda and Melbourne City W-League player Jenna McCormick also shared her excitement for the landmark tournament.

“To have [the Women’s World Cup] in Melbourne as the sporting capital of Australia is really awesome,” she said.

“I know with this unique sporting opportunity that the whole city will certainly get around the event and I’m really excited to see the response from the community.

“[I’m looking forward to] having family, friends and the football world come out and support us in what will be a once in a lifetime tournament here in Australia and New Zealand.”

Today’s announcement also drew elation from member federations Football NSW and Football Queensland, as the two states will be key components for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge:

“The Football NSW community welcomes FIFA’s announcement that Sydney has been selected as one of the cities that will host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. We are ecstatic that Stadium Australia will host the final.

“Female football is the fastest growing area of our sport, and today’s announcement will undoubtedly turbo charge further growth and boost the popularity of the sport.”

Football Queensland President James Richardson:

“It is fantastic news for our entire football community that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is coming to Queensland.

“This is the biggest women’s sporting in the world. In the Women and Girls Strategy released last month, we highlighted the tournament’s potential to deliver immense benefits for all Queenslanders, particularly women and girls.”

The host cities and stadium selection was finalised after a rigorous eight-month process conducted by FIFA, together with the two host associations. It involved a series of virtual workshops and an assessment of infrastructure and facilities.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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