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Australia, New Zealand to host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will will be staged in a pair of countries following completion of voting on Thursday.

Australia and New Zealand will will host the summer tournament, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced. It will be the first Women’s World Cup to be hosted across two confederations (AFC and OFC), as well as the first with 32 teams taking part.

“It was a choice between two countries – Australia and New Zealand – where women’s football is already strongly established, and a continent where it still has to be firmly implanted and has a huge development potential,” FIFA said in a statement. “It’s important to add that European members of the Fifa council agreed to vote together on major issues as a matter of solidarity.”

The joint bid received 22 of the 35 valid votes with Colombia finishing second with 13. Brazil withdrew its bid back on June 8th while Japan also backed out earlier this week.

The U.S. Women’s National Team is two-time defending World Cup Champions after claiming the 2019 edition over the Netherlands in France. It marked the end of an era with head coach Jill Ellis stepping down and Vlatko Andonovski replacing her following the tournament.

Should the USWNT win in 2023, it will become the first National Team to win three-consecutive World Cup titles.

“We believe we have been given a treasure and we will look after that treasure,” New Zealand Football President Johanna Wood said. “We will work towards putting women’s football even more front and centre on the world stage.”

Qualifying matches for the 2023 World Cup are slated to begin in 2021 and conclude by the end of the 2022 calendar year. The USWNT has not played since the SheBelieves Cup in March, where it won after posting a 3-0-0 record.

There is no timetable for the return of the USWNT in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect around the world.

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