Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash have welcomed confirmation New Zealand will host the opening ceremony and match, and one of the semi-finals, of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
Grant Robertson says matches will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, the result of a co-hosting arrangement between New Zealand and Australia.
“To be the nation that welcomes the world to this global event will be very special. As well as showcasing the skills of some of the best players in the world and providing great entertainment, these matches can make a positive and lasting change to the women’s game. This tournament can inspire and encourage more women to get involved as players, coaches, match officials and administrators,” Grant Robertson said.
“Using four of five possible venues gives spectators the opportunity to attend the biggest women’s sports tournament ever held here. Unfortunately Christchurch is not able to host a match given stadium requirements. We’ll work with New Zealand Football, Football Australia, the Australian Government and FIFA to deliver an amazing event.”
The New Zealand Government has set aside up to $25 million to host the event, including support to run the tournament and to grow the involvement of women and girls in football.
“Confirmation of these matches, soon after we announced New Zealand will host the 8th World Conference of the International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) in Auckland in 2022 shows we’re making real progress in the Government’s Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy,” Grant Robertson said.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the first cross-confederation (Asia and Oceania) tournament, and the largest women’s World Cup with 32 teams. Stuart Nash said the World Cup will be significant in our pathway to recovery from COVID-19.
“We’re bringing the world to our doorstep to sample our unique culture and landscape, which, importantly, is projected to provide a significant economic injection.
“With the exceptional growth of women’s football, this tournament alone could bring tens of thousands of international fans to New Zealand in 2023, if globally we continue to make progress against COVID-19 and borders around the world to a more normal state.
“In addition, the event will bring significant profile to Aotearoa New Zealand from international broadcast. The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 saw a combined 1.12 billion viewers tune into official broadcast coverage across all platforms,” Stuart Nash said.