Football supporters across Western Australia have more to celebrate after Perth was today confirmed as one of the host cities for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced that Perth and eight other cities in Australia and New Zealand will host matches in a tournament that is set to attract a worldwide audience of up to two billion people.
Football West CEO James Curtis said the decision was momentous for football in the state.
“This is a special day and a significant milestone for football in Western Australia,” he said.
“We saw last year how big a deal the Women’s World Cup was when Australia and New Zealand were announced as the host countries, and we were desperate for Perth to be included. Western Australia has missed out in the past, and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out again.
“This is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and it will showcase the city of Perth like nothing else.
“We want this to inspire the next generation of female and male players. They can now get to see superstars like our own Sam Kerr playing on the biggest stage right here.”
The other cities which will host matches are Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide in Australia, and Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington in New Zealand.
Newcastle, Launceston and Christchurch were the cities on the shortlist which missed out.
Mr Curtis said a tremendous amount of work had gone into getting Perth over the line.
“When it was announced last year that Australia and New Zealand would host the tournament, many people assumed Perth would automatically be involved. That was never going to be the case,” he said.
“There were a lot of excellent bids from other cities too and we had to sell our city and our state to FIFA and make sure they knew how much this meant to us and what we could offer in return.
“FIFA delegates have seen the love for the game from fans and that they were right behind it. The football community should be proud of that. But emotion and ‘wanting it’ was not enough on its own. The bid had to tick many other boxes, including Government support, facilities and legacy.
“The WA State Government, and Premier Mark McGowan in particular, let FIFA know Western Australia wanted to be part of the tournament, not least by investing tens of millions of dollars into community football infrastructure to be delivered in time for 2023, including the State Football Centre.
“It was also great to have Sam Kerr in Perth last year when Australia and New Zealand got the nod to host. Having her in her own city made it feel that much more real and gave us an immediate connection with the event.
“Some of our clubs will also benefit from being used as training venues for teams. So to have this to look forward to, as well as the brand new State Football Centre, is massive for football in Western Australia and another win.”
Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes said: “Congratulations to all of the host cities. This is huge for Perth and the result of so much hard work over a long period by Football West and the WA State Government to ensure the Women’s World Cup in 2023 is coming to WA.”
Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou said: “The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the biggest sporting event on Australian soil since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, showcasing Australia and New Zealand to a global audience of over one billion people.
“Today’s announcement of the host cities and match venues around the country for the tournament, including Perth and the Perth Rectangular Stadium, is a major milestone in the build-up to the next FIFA Women’s World Cup - a tournament that will unite nations, inspire generations, and provide our diverse and multicultural game with the perfect platform to grow over the coming years.”