The eyes of the world will be fixed on Tasmania when Launceston serves as a host city for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Senator for Tasmania and Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, today celebrated the decision by FIFA to award the hosting rights for the spectacle to Australia and New Zealand.
Launceston’s UTAS Stadium was nominated as one of 12 sites under the comprehensive Trans-Tasman bid.
“The inclusion of UTAS Stadium as part of the playing program will bring football fans from across the world to Tasmania,” Minister Colbeck said.
“It will be great for tourism and local economies from the State’s north down to Hobart and it will help elevate the women’s game like never before.”
Launceston is numbered among 12 cities to host matches including Adelaide, Brisbane, and Newcastle and New Zealand centres Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
It could also mark the first time the Matildas run out before a parochial crowd in Tasmania.
Football Tasmania chief executive Matt Bulkeley said it was a huge coup for the State.
“Witnessing the world’s best female footballers play in Launceston will be inspiring for women and girls across Tasmania,” Mr Bulkeley said.
“It is likely to result in a significant surge in interest in local competition and that is something to celebrate.”
Minister Colbeck said the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will also be a tournament of firsts.
“This will be the first ever co-confederation hosted FIFA World Cup, the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first ever to be held in the southern hemisphere,” he said.
“Tasmania will now play an important part in that.”
The Federal Government’s support for the event aligns with both health and sports initiatives under the national sport plan – Sport 2030 – to inspire girls and women to participate in sport and increase their physical activity.
“Sport 2030 has a key focus on improving attitudes towards gender equality in sport,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The Government is passionate about raising the profile of women’s sport and driving increased participation in sport by both girls and women.
“Hosting the Women’s World Cup will showcase improving attitudes towards gender equality in sport and strengthen Australia’s reputation as a world leader in promoting women’s sport and as a premier host of major international sporting events.”
He said the past two years have seen landmark achievements in Australia for women in sport, including football, with improved pay and conditions and record crowds turning out to support our female athletes.
Australia and NZ have a successful history of both staging and co-hosting major international sporting events – most recently the Rugby League World Cup 2017 and the Cricket World Cup 2015.