Friday 26 June 2020, 06:16

Delight Down Under as 2023 Women’s World Cup hosts named

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ promises to be an historic event on multiple levels.

The announcement on Thursday that Australia and New Zealand will play host means that this edition of the Women's World Cup will be the first in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first to feature in the Oceania Football Confederation. It will also be the first edition to feature 32 teams, up from 16 teams as recently as 2011.

We take a look at some of the reactions from Down Under to the overnight news from Zurich.

“The opportunity to play in a home FIFA Women’s World Cup is something every footballer dreams of and I am looking forward to seeing those dreams come true. Playing for the Matildas in Australia will be the highlight of my career and an opportunity to inspire girls, both in Australia and New Zealand, and all over the world to play football.” Australia captain Sam Kerr

“I just broke down when I heard. This will be a chance of a lifetime to connect with fans. We barely play any home games - because we are so far away from everywhere else - so this is so epic.” New Zealand captain Ali Riley

“Might just have to stick around a few more years for this one! This is going to be amazing! Congrats to the AUS and NZ!” USA midfielder, reigning The Best FIFA Women’s player and one-time Sydney FC guest player Megan Rapinoe

“I think this birthday will be a hard one to forget.” Australia forward Kyah Simon who celebrated her 29th birthday on Thursday.

"All of this anticipation was filling the room. The second (it was announced), I completely blacked out for a second. Honestly, it was just total joy.” New Zealand forward Hannah Wilkinson

"I'm so excited. I'm now starting to think about what it will be like to be a player at a home World Cup, it is just surreal. It's giving me goosebumps." Australia defender Steph Catley

“I woke up at 4 o’clock on the dot and turned on my phone and it was just amazing news, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I think it’s important historically to acknowledge those that came before, because without them, we wouldn’t be here today.” New Zealand’s first women’s national team captain Barbara Cox

"For me, the images on the Opera House sails last night represented the 40-odd year journey from early pioneers to current stars and everything that really matters in between, (grassroots, fans, volunteers, admin). A fantastic tribute to all who have contributed along the way." Australia's first women's national team captain Julie Dolan

“Women’s sport has been growing at an exponential rate. This (decision) is as much about sport as it is about gender equality and broader society. Australia and New Zealand have been leaders in that regard for a number of years. Gender equality was a key part of this bid. (The decision can be used) to utilise this as a tool to what things should look like – genuine, substantive commitment to equality in football.” Former Australia captain and SBS TV football analyst Craig Foster

"Our pledge to the FIFA family is that no stone will be left unturned to produce the best World Cup and grow the women’s game globally and in the Asia-Pacific region.” Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou