Australia and New Zealand have beaten Colombia to win the bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.In the vote by the FIFA Council, Australia and New Zealand beat Colombia 22-13 to host the tournament, which is being expanded to 32 teams. The 2019 World Cup in France was hailed as a watershed for global interest in the women’s game, with record-breaking audiences of 1.2 billion people tuning in during the monthlong event.The final, in which US women’s national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to win their fourth World Cup, was the most watched Women’s World Cup match ever, leading FIFA president Gianni Infantino to drive the campaign to increase the field to 32 teams from 24 for 2023.Initially, there were four bids to host the 2023 tournament, but Japan and Brazil dropped out before the final vote, citing the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.“We did it. We freaking did it,” Chelsea and Matildas star Sam Kerr said on Twitter after the announcement.“I’m lost for words and want to say congratulations to Australia and New Zealand on this amazing achievement,” Socceroos legend Tim Cahill tweeted. Japan dropping out was seen as a boost to the joint bid from Australia and New Zealand.However, sources told ESPN on Wednesday that the voting would be close, with as many as 12 votes undecided going into Thursday.The joint bid from Australia and New Zealand ranked highest in FIFA’s technical evaluations, while Colombia ranked the lowest of the three bids evaluated.The level of infrastructure and commercial opportunities was highlighted in the report as an advantage for the joint bid, but there were concerns over the logistics of hosting a tournament across the two countries.“As the first joint (and cross-confederation) bid to host a FIFA Women’s World Cup, it also offers the opportunity for unity and cooperation with a view to boosting the development of the women’s game across the Asia-Pacific region — which would be hosting the tournament for the first time,” the report said. “A joint bid, however, can also be a more complex undertaking, since it requires the management of cross-border components for the delivery of the event.”Colombia met the minimum requirements for hosting a tournament but “would need a significant amount of investment and support” before it would be ready to host the tournament, according to the FIFA report.The governing body also stated there would be “clear risks that the necessary improvements would not be carried out” in time for the tournament.Neither Australia nor New Zealand has hosted a World Cup. In 2010, Australia bid to host the 2022 World Cup – which will be held in Qatar – but was eliminated in the first round after receiving just one vote.RelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern wrote in an open letter to FIFA on Tuesday that the two countries would host a tournament to be proud of.“An Australia-New Zealand FIFA Women’s World Cup would embody our passion for women’s football and proud commitment to equality and fairness, creating a profound and enduring legacy for the future of women’s football within the region and beyond,” they said in the letter.Australian football has grown in popularity in recent years with many big-name Matildas moving to Europe and the US Sam Kerr signed a record-breaking deal for women’s football with Chelsea in January, while Ellie Carpenter recently traded Portland Thorns for Lyon.The French side are considered the top team in Europe and have won the Champions League six times and won their 14th consecutive Division 1 Feminine title in May.The team also boast many of the game’s best players, including Ada Hegerberg, Lucy Bronze and Eugenie Le Sommer.On the day leading up to the decision, many well-known Australians took to social media to back the bid, while national monuments such as the Sydney Opera House were lit up with images of well-known Matildas.Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald before the result, former Matilda and FIFA executive committee member Moya Dodd said hosting the World Cup would have a “profound impact” on sport in Australia.“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup would give us an iconic event around which we can wrap the actions, targets and incentives to make that happen,” she said.“It would be a catalyst to drive us towards FFA’s [Football Federation Australia] goal of 600,000 Australian women and girls playing football by 2027, with better pathways towards the W-League and the Matildas.”Tags: 2023 Women’s World CupAustraliaColombiaFIFAgianni infantinoNew Zealand
Notre Dame and UCLA series games were recently added to Wisconsin’s football schedule. The sports editors discuss whether or not these match-up are beneficial for Wisconsin football.Browne: It’s worth adding Notre Dame and UCLA to Wisconsin’s football schedule due to the resulting financial compensation.The Badgers and the Bruins have met 11 times, with UCLA holding a 7-4 edge. UW has won the last three games, but they were the 2000 Sun Bowl, the 1999 Rose Bowl and the 1994 Rose Bowl. The Bruins were ranked No. 14 during their last visit to Madison, and they handed unranked UW a 51-26 defeat.But that was on Sept. 18, 1982. The only thing certain about a UW vs UCLA football game in the year 2030 is that Wisconsin will have an increase in revenue.Notre Dame is one of the most storied programs in all of college football history, thus, a win over them in a system such as the four-team NCAA College Football Playoff selection is crucial to have on your resume during your three-game non-conference schedule.Wisconsin vs LSU at Lambeau Field was the first college game played at the historic NFL stadium and it was a huge success. Adding Soldier Field to the mix on top of the smashing success at Lambeau already spells huge television contract money, not only for Notre Dame, but really for Wisconsin, given that Notre Dame is an independent football conference school and has a likewise independent NBC television contract.Larson:Adding games like Notre Dame and UCLA into our already intense Big Ten schedule match-ups does not bode well for Wisconsin football. While I like the idea of playing successful teams like the Bruins and Fighting Irish in the long run, I think that they should remain postseason games only.With so little margin for error now the Big Ten is divided into East and West, and only one spot is available for each team to advance to the Big Ten Championship, each and every game counts.Wisconsin has a losing record against both teams, with a 4-7 record against the Bruins and 6-8-2 with the Fighting Irish. Both of these records look dismal on paper, and it looks as though both of these match-ups might result in a loss for the Badgers.This would mean four losses for Wisconsin, and four losses that would weigh on them for the rest of the respective seasons. The remainder of each season would be spent trying to overcome that loss, and it would mean that each and every loss becomes a burden that the Badgers must shoulder.Pressure of that kind is the thing that destroys team, not builds them.Schreter: Adding future home and home series with UCLA and Notre Dame could be beneficial for Wisconsin football, but it could also be harmful. This is really dependent on the landscape of college football in the future.In recent years expansion of the four team college football playoff has been a hot topic of discussion within the NCAA. These home and home series will likely be difficult match-ups for the Badgers, but whether or not they end up being worth it is very dependent on the NCAA’s post season setup and what it takes to qualify.If the playoffs remain at four teams, than these difficult out-of-conference games will likely make it exponentially harder for the Badgers to qualify. On the other hand, these games could give the Badger’s a huge strength of schedule a boost and leave them with a larger margin for error in the event that the playoffs are expanded to eight or 16 games.While no protocols have been discussed yet in an eight or 16 team playoff, the Big Ten Champion would almost certainly be given an automatic bid. In this scenario, difficult out-of-conference games like those against UCLA and Notre Dame would give the Badger’s the opportunity for multiple wins without risking their chance at the post season.