ZURICH, Switzerland — In a first for women’s soccer, Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
The competition will be the first World Cup – men or women – that will be shared by two continental bodies. Australia is a member of the Asian Football Confederation, New Zealand with Oceania.
Their combined bid defeated Colombia, 22-13, in a vote by the FIFA Council on Thursday. The decision was made on the first ballot.
Japan, a third candidate, withdrew Monday, which gave the Australia/New Zealand bid a better path to victory.
The expanded 32-team tournament – eight more than the 2019 edition in France – is expected to kick off in July 2023.
The Australia/New Zealand bid proposed 12 cities. Seven will be Australia and five in New Zealand. The main stadium used for the 2000 Sydney Olympics also was included in the bid.
Former U.S. Soccer president and current FIFA Council member Sunil Gulati voted for the Australia/New Zealand bid.
Australia is seventh in the latest FIFA rankings, while New Zealand is 23rd.
The four-time world champion United States has captured the last two Women’s World Cups, in 2015 and 2019.