In 2015, when France was announced as the host for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the dramatic reveal of the envelope was met with little more than the gentle tapping of keyboards in an otherwise silent, half-empty conference room. Fifa could not have expected what women’s football would achieve just four years later when the tournament that preceded that anti-climactic moment attracted 1.1bn viewers and smashed records across the world. Nor could they have anticipated the 2023 Women’s World Cup announcement – which took place in the early hours of Friday morning – to occur entirely online, with the 35 eligible Fifa Council members casting their votes from their respective homes and offices thanks to Covid-19. It’s fitting, then – pre-destined, even – that the bid which was chosen to stage the 2023 tournament emphasised football’s most profound offering: unity. Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid, presciently titled “As One”, was selected by the Fifa Council to the tune of 22 votes to Colombia’s 13. In the final video presentations submitted to Fifa last week, Australia and New Zealand’s message began with an acknowledgement of the moment the world is currently experiencing: a moment of uncertainty, distance and silence brought… Read full this story
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