Carli Lloyd won Women’s World Cups in 2015 and 2019. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)
Two-time Women’s World Cup champion Carli Lloyd headlines a line-up of soccer legends at the draw for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand 2023 in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau on Saturday.
The line-up of draw assistants features former Football Fern Maia Jackman and ex-Matilda Julie Dolan, along with former England international and TV/radio personality Ian Wright, World Cup 2002 winner Gilberto Silva from Brazil, Alexi Lalas from the USA and former Cameroon star Geremi.
Lloyd is one of the draw conductors along with CNN sports anchor Amanda Davies. Together the duo will lead the technical component of the event, which will start at 19:30 local time (08:30 CET) on Saturday.
Lloyd says the draw is a moment that all players, coaches, teams and fans look forward to.
“Given the expanded format in 2023, there’s going to be even more excitement globally when the eyes of the football world focus on Auckland this Saturday,” Lloyd said in a statemennt. “With new nations participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time, I am excited to play a part in a draw that will bring smiles to faces in every corner of the globe.”
Wright added in a statement: “It’s been a joy to see the continued growth of the women’s game. Sharing the stage with women’s football pioneers from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, greats of the global game, and leading sporting identities from both Host Countries will be an honor, as together we celebrate a big milestone on the path to the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup featuring 32 teams.”
Adding some local flavour to the evening are Olympic gold medal snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australian swimmer Cate Campbell, a triple Olympic gold medallist. Sadowski-Synnott and Campbell will be draw assistants alongside Jackman, Dolan, Wright, Gilberto, Lalas and Geremi.
The presenters for the evening have been confirmed as Sky Sport’s Kirstie Stanway and Channel 7’s Mel McLaughlin.
Approximately 800 guests will attend, including the FIFA president and secretary general, Aotearoa New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australian Federal Minister for Sport Anika Wells, representatives from the qualified teams, soccer stars and international media.
The 32 teams (including three to be confirmed in the playoff tournament in February) will be allocated into eight groups of four.