Football: New Zealand on shortlist to host 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Australia, Argentina and Brazil are among the other contenders to host the tournament.
Australia, Argentina and Brazil are among the other contenders to host the tournament. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand will have eight other bids to contend with - including a joint proposal from North and South Korea - if it is to host the 2023 Women's World Cup.

On Tuesday, football world governing body FIFA announced the record nine bids - the others come from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

Four of football's six confederations - Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America - are represented in the contest.

After formally expressing their interest in hosting the ninth Women's World Cup, the 10 federations involved now have a month to return their bidding registrations, and until October to submit their bid books, signed hosting agreement and all other related documents.

Unlike the men's tournament, which is voted on by all 211 member associations at a FIFA Congress, the winner of this race will be decided by a vote of FIFA's 37-strong ruling council next March.

In a statement, FIFA says it "will implement a fair and transparent process, which will include a clear evaluation model, as well as a concrete commitment to sustainability and human rights".

FIFA introduced a human-rights element to its bidding contests in 2017, after widespread criticism of the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

According to its 41-page "Overview of the Bidding Process", FIFA will require the "implementation of human rights and labour standards" by the bidding federation, the government and "other entities" involved in organising the event, including those who build or renovate stadiums, training bases, hotels and airports.

While the joint Korean bid will undoubtedly attract the most interest, Australia was the first to declare its hand and are probably the frontrunner in terms of its media campaign.

The announcement of nine potential hosts is a far cry from the last two bidding races, when there were only two bidding federations for the 2015 and 2019 editions of the tournament.

And the fact they are all new would-be hosts is another indication of the growth of the women's game.

This year's tournament is being staged in France between June 7-July 7, with New Zealand among the 24 nations taking part.