Stage set for biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup in history

The 2023 Women’s World Cup™ match schedule was revealed last week, with the news celebrated in the host countries of Australia and New Zealand. The tournament is now under 600 days away and the much anticipated 64-fixture match schedule for the tournament will see Australia hosting 35 matches, and New Zealand set to stage 29 games. As announced in April, Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau will host the opening match and opening ceremony for the first-ever co-hosted women’s tournament on 20 July, with Stadium Australia in Sydney/Gadigal selected to host the Final a month later on 20 August.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand CEO Dave Beeche said: “The stage is now set, and the matches decided. Nine host cities and 10 stadiums across Australia and New Zealand will welcome the world’s best players in 2023 for the biggest Women’s World Cup in history. “The Tournament will be here before we know it. We look forward to putting on a show for the world and delivering an experience ‘Beyond Greatness’ for the players and thousands of fans.” The news was met with much excitement in both countries with Sydney / Gadigal among the host cities to stage a celebration event. The venue for the final – Stadium Australia – was the setting with New South Wales Minister for Sport Natalie Ward joining Football Australia CEO James Johnson and young footballers from the state at the get-together. FIFA Women’s World Cup COO for Australia, Jane Fernandez, was also in attendance and she said: “We’re incredibly excited to be hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup and delivering a tournament that’s going to inspire and entertain the next generation.

Kids playing in stadium in Brisbane

“The confirmation of the match schedule solidifies a significant milestone in our roadmap toward the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. We want to make sure we are distributing games right across the country, really amplifying the growth of women’s football, having more women and more girls play our game.” The news was met with positivity in the other Australian Host Cities of Perth / Boorloo, Melbourne / Naarm, and Adelaide / Tarntanya while in Brisbane / Meaanjin aspiring female footballers joined local officials and Football Queensland on the pitch at Brisbane Stadium to celebrate the eight fixtures set to be played there. In New Zealand, the announcement of the match schedule was positively received by the four Host Cities, the Government and New Zealand Football. New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson also shared his excitement on Twitter.

New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said they were looking forward to welcoming the footballing world. “From the opening match of the tournament to the semi-final, the 29 games we are hosting will see some of the best players in the game welcomed to Aotearoa for the first time. Come 20 July 2023 the eyes of the sporting world will be focused on Eden Park as we kick-off one of the biggest sporting events ever held in this country.” New Zealand COO for the tournament Jane Patterson said the Host Cities in Aotearoa were delighted to be hosting four of the tournament’s eight groups as well as five knock-out matches including a quarter-final in Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara and a quarter-final and a semi-final in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau. “We are incredibly proud to be hosting the opening match and opening ceremony at Eden Park, where we can showcase our unique culture and demonstrate to a global audience the country’s reputation as both a destination and as a place to host major events,” said Patterson. “With the match schedule now confirmed, our teams across both host countries can push on with preparations to welcome the world down under.”