Friday 22 September 2023, 12:00

Observer programme delivers successful session at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™

  • 50 guests complete the FIFA Observer Programme at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

  • Participants gain invaluable insights into inner workings of FIFA World Cup operations

  • Guests and officials from ten Member Associations and other sports attended

As the sun set in August on the biggest and greatest edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ ever – it was not only the players and fans leaving Australia and New Zealand with memories and experiences to take back home to inspire and further spread the growth of the women’s game – another group of potential future hosts did so too. Officials from ten Member Associations, four confederations and several other sporting organisations spent the tournament gaining invaluable insights into the inner workings of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, through the FIFA Observer Programme. During each FIFA World Cup™, FIFA invites selected sports administrators and officials of future and potential future events to be briefed, and to observe the various areas that make up the machinery to deliver the biggest sporting events on the planet. The 50 guests represented four bidding consortiums for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, officials from the football confederations, as well as sports administrators from rugby, cricket, basketball and other football federations and government agencies from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

During the Observer Programme, the guests were given a briefing at the Main Operation Center (MOC), which coordinates all different operational departments, and presentations on the Workforce and Volunteers operations and the Services Integration Areas. Other parts of the programme included visits to the Technology Command Centre, official accommodation sites, the Referee Base Camp Training Site, tours of both Sydney stadiums and one of the training venues in Sydney.

Bid Information Workshop and Observers programme -  FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

One of the participants in the programme, Iñigo Riestra General Secretary of Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, said: “I want to thank FIFA for giving us this opportunity. When you are just reading books it’s not the same, when you visit the physical areas it gives you so many opportunities to meet with the FIFA staff, and they were sharing their knowledge with us.” Meanwhile, Manuela Biz Communication Consultant on the bid for Confederação Brasileira de Futebol, said: “It changes everything, when you really get to see the fans close up, and witness their happiness and their energy – it really helps you to remember why we do what we do. It’s amazing.”

Lydia Monyepao Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary South African Football Association, said: “It’s been very informative, and really exciting. We have been taking through all the steps from accommodation, to stadiums, to the referees’ basecamps. We’ve really learned a lot. We went around the stadiums in Sydney. We also went to the IBC, where they do all the broadcasting – and also experienced the game’s from a fan’s perspective. It will really help us to prepare.” Bart van Soest, Project Leader on the Belgium, Netherlands, Germany bid: “Paper is just paper, and this is the real stuff. For example, everyone watches football matches and events, but the behind-the-scenes side such as the visit to the IBC have been very useful. You would never know about it without doing these kind of tours, so you get to see what’s important – the locations, the leisure areas, it really helps.”

Bid Information Workshop and Observers programme -  FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023

The group also attended matches at Stadium Australia and the Sydney Football Stadium and watched another match at the Sydney FIFA Fan Fest™. Before they joined the Observer Programme, the 18 officials from the bidding nations for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup also attended a Bid Information Workshop. The bidding teams from South Africa and Brazil, along with the joint bids from Belgium, Netherland and Germany and Mexico and USA, received comprehensive presentations from key personnel at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 on the various parts of the organisation.

The two-day workshop covered the bidding process, the stadiums, team facilities and services, broadcasting, transport, security, sustainability, human rights, finance, legal and compliance topics. The hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027™ will be decided by vote at the 74th FIFA Congress, which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on 17 May 2024.

FIFA Women's World Cup 2027™ - Bidding Process Key Elements