Leading players from the Football Ferns and Westfield Matildas have thrown their support behind the decision for Australia and New Zealand to bid ‘As One’ to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Asia-Pacific in 2023.
New Zealand’s Rosie White and Australia’s Sam Kerr both believe the tournament would offer profound benefits for the game, with women’s football in Asia and Oceania receiving significant sporting and commercial investment and interest should the nations receive the dual right to host FIFA’s global women’s showpiece.
White, who has represented New Zealand at three senior Women’s World Cups as well as at U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups, says hosting the tournament in Asia-Pacific would be a game changer for women’s football.
“If New Zealand and Australia were to host a World Cup it would change football in our region forever,” White says.
“I had a taste for it with the U-17 Women’s World Cup (in New Zealand) in 2008 and that is, still to this day, one of my favourite memories. I could not think of a better opportunity than hosting a World Cup to help women’s football skyrocket in New Zealand – to inspire the next generations and drive investment into our sport,” she adds.
“New Zealand would be an amazing host for the World Cup – not only are we a hugely popular destination for tourists, but we know we can put on a show. New Zealanders are fantastic at banding together and getting things done, we are known for being amazing hosts.”
Kerr, who scored five goals in four games at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in France, is equally enthused.
“Co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Australia would be a dream come true for me,” she says.
“There is so much untapped potential, not just in Australia but right across Asia and the Pacific region, that I really do believe we would offer something incredibly special to FIFA. I really believe that Australia and New Zealand would be incredible hosts to take the game forward,” she adds.
“It is also fitting that New Zealand was the Matildas’ first full international opponent 40 years ago and now we are partnering in a bid to host the biggest women’s sporting tournament on the planet.”
The women’s national football teams of New Zealand and Australia were both represented at today’s historic co-confederation bid launch by Rebekah Stott (Football Ferns) and Steph Catley (Matildas). Stott and Catley are teammates in Australia’s Westfield W-League with Melbourne City FC.
At the same time as the official bid launch at AAMI Park in Melbourne, a media opportunity was held at Eden Park in Auckland, featuring several generations of Football Ferns in current players White and Claudia Bunge, as well as the legendary mother-and-daughter pairing of Barbara and Michele Cox.