Tuesday 19 July 2022, 20:00

FIFA Secretary General hails vibrant cultures amid Women’s World Cup celebrations

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura says the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ will “provide a platform to inspire and unite” as Australia and New Zealand marked one year until the tournament commences. FIFA’s chief administrator was in Sydney/Gadigal to mark the milestone where a large and colourful celebration was held on the shores of Sydney’s famous harbour. Other events were held in all nine host cities, with Hamilton/Kirikiriroa notably hosting a lighting ceremony as dawn broke in New Zealand. "This competition will provide a platform to inspire and unite through the power of women’s football and FIFA, together with the host countries, looks forward to welcoming players and fans from around the world and going Beyond Greatness together in 2023,” said Samoura.

“I particularly want to highlight the warm cultural welcome we have received from both host nations, something which highlights the spirit of both nations and reflects well on our game. It was also exciting to meet with so many inspiring local women who are supporting the tournament and are having such a positive impact on society. “This kind of support and passion will undoubtedly make this FIFA Women’s World Cup – the first in the Southern Hemisphere - truly unforgettable.”

The highlight of the visit was Wednesday morning’s unveiling of the Unity Pitch – a portable mini pitch inspired by the tournament’s brand identity that will travel around both nations.

The FIFA Secretary General also met with numerous local officials and dignitaries including members of the Australian and New South Wales governments, Australian Olympic Committee and local administrators with post-tournament legacy a key discussion topic. Finally, on Wednesday evening the FIFA Secretary General had the honour of lighting up the Sydney Harbour Bridge in tournament colours, with similar activities taking place across each host city. It is the second visit in just a matter of months for the FIFA Secretary General who undertook an extensive tour of all the host cities in April and May.