Sydney first stop on Secretary General's FIFA Women's World Cup host cities tour

Sydney/Gadigal, the capital of Australian state New South Wales, was the first stop for a FIFA delegation on a mission to meet with sport and governmental stakeholders in the nine host cities of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand™.

Led by Secretary General Fatma Samoura, the first stop on the itinerary was to meet the local Australian FIFA team in its office in Sydney. Accompanied by Dave Beeche, CEO of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand and Jane Fernandez, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia, Fatma Samoura met with staff and expressed her ambitions for the competition and hopes for the legacy it will leave for girls and women not just in the Southern Hemisphere but worldwide.

The FIFA Secretary General said: “I’m delighted to be here with all of you who make up the Australian FIFA team. Your passion and excitement for the competition is palpable! The ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be innovative, creative, with new people, new fans and a next level tournament. We can all play our part to take this FIFA Women’s World Cup Beyond Greatness and I’m looking forward to working alongside all of you to make this competition unforgettable.”

The delegation then travelled to the headquarters of Football Australia to meet with CEO James Johnson and some of the organisation’s staff in person and online. During meetings the FIFA Secretary General stressed her delight at seeing gender parity in action at Football Australia and underlined her belief in the ability of football to act as a force for pushing equalisation and inclusion.

A visit to Stadium Australia followed, where the group were met by Steve Cox, CEO of Destination New South Wales and Karen Jones, CEO of the Office of Sport of New South Wales. Stadium Australia has an 83,000 capacity and was purposely built for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. It was where indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman’s legendary win of a gold medal for the 400 meters took place - an event that is etched in the hearts of the nation - at the 2000 Olympics. The venue will host four FIFA Women’s World Cup matches, including the Final.

The following day Steve Cox took the delegation on a tour of Sydney Football Stadium which is currently under refurbishment and due to reopen this autumn. The venue will seat 42,500 fans and set a new Australian stadium benchmark for sustainability and accessibility. It will host seven FIFA Women’s World Cup matches in 2023.

As its last engagement in Sydney, the FIFA delegation met with Queensland Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister assisting Premier on Olympics & Paralympics Sport and Engagement, Stirling Hinchliffe. Talks focused on how the positive messages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup could be amplified by state authorities and across tourism initiatives, as well as the State’s commitment to helping FIFA deliver an outstanding tournament.