In the early hours Friday morning June 26th at around 1am Adelaide time the announcement came through from FIFA that Australia and New Zealand would host the 2023 Women’s world cup ! The 3rd largest sporting event on the planet and single largest Women’s sporting event on Earth. To say a tear didn’t shed down my eye and a Sam Kerr backflip was not contemplated would be a lie. I remember in the hours leading up to the announcement tossing and turning in bed before I finally gave up and just decided to pace the hallway back and forth no doubt annoying my partner and coming dangerously close to waking our 20month year old baby girl. However luckily my daughter slept through it all as I leaped for joy with the verdict , The world cup is coming down under you bloody beauty ! How the hell does one sleep now before work the next day.
Luckily I did get a few hours sleep, my partner did not kill me and my daughter slept through it all. So why the fuss, why the hype, why the risk of family harmony at 1am in a household? well im glad you asked! Lets start with a few numbers ,the last Womens world cup in France in 2019 was watched by 1.12 billion viewers yes that’s right BILLION and here is the kicker it is expected that the 2023 tournament in OZ and across the ditch will hit around 2 Billion viewers .The month long event will also see around 1.5 million people attend games and generate around 500million bucks to the economy. A Tourism industries golden ticket and economic wonder stroke.
The World Cup will put Adelaide and Hindmarsh Stadium on the map , 100s of millions will watch the games from all corners of the globe and 100s of thousand will descend on our shores like never before. The state will dance and party to the beautiful game while the restaurants, hotels and pubs see the World game tourism dollar.
In 2006 when the Socceroos made the world cup in Germany around 40,000 Aussies attended. The immigration department said it was the largest exodus of Australians to a single country since WW2. Now the tide is turned the World is coming to Australia, you best brace yourself its going to be massive.
Football or the world game is already the most participated sport in Australia with some 2 million participants. It is a fact that more young boys and girls play the beautiful game in OZ than any other sport ,so think about the legacy and inspiration that will be generated by a World Cup on home soil.
You cant put a price on a young girls face watching professional women’s footballers in their own backyard represent their nation in front of stadiums filled with thousands of adoring fans. The joy on a kids face as the Matildas score a goal in front of 70,00 fans at stadium Australia or the joy on a young South Aussie kid as he/she watches a female footballer strut her stuff at Hindmarsh stadium.
Football has come along way in this country and women’s football especially. I mean the Matildas are ground breaking pioneers. Football Federation Australia only recently ensured that women got paid just as much as men for representing Australia. A decision that is now a inspiration to many other footballing nations and pathway to such a goal.
The world cup in 2023 will be a game changer , it will be a showpiece and display of what the World game is all about. The coming together of culture , nationalities , religions and ethnicity from all parts of the globe. A chance for the world to share the joy and speak the language of football like never before on our shores.
Its going to be one hell of a party and one hell of a ride. The Women’s World Cup in 2023 will be everything that football already is to millions around the planet, however this time ,that passion ,that love, that game played by 209 countries on earth with over 160 of those claiming it to be their number 1 sport will call Australia and New Zealand home. You best jump on board and be a part of it ! Who knows you might just become one of us!