Football: NZ and Australia's bid to host 2023 Women's World Cup going down to the wire

Football Ferns midfielder Annalie Longo feels women's sport in New Zealand will receive a massive boost if the country wins the right to co-host the 2023 Women's Football World Cup.

At 4am Friday (NZ time), the host for the tournament will be announced, with an Australia and New Zealand joint bid competing against Colombia. 

Either bid needs at least 18 votes out of the possible 35 to win the right to host the tournament. 

NZ Football chief executive Andrew Pragnell says the NZ economy could receive a $180m boost if the joint bid is successful.

More than 1.1 billion viewers watched last year's tournament in France. The final - between the United States and the Netherlands - drew a live audience of 82.18 million and reached a total of 263.62 million unique viewers. 

"Fingers crossed it goes our way, and we'll be playing here in a few years with a massive crowd and massive exposure for women's football," Longo has told the AM Show. 

"We've competed with the best team in the world, so hopefully the support of the 12th man of the crowd will push us through. 

"We'd love to win a World Cup - that would be a dream. We deserve it and it will be massive for women's sport around the country."  

Earlier this month, FIFA released results of its technical evaluations of the three bids, with NZ/Australia scoring an average of 4.1 out of five, edging Japan (3.9) and Colombia (2.8).

Japan have since withdrawn, but despite the strong score, Pragnall is bracing for any outcome. 

In an ESPN report, sources have indicated the final vote "will be much closer than people think and could easily go either way", with as many as 12 votes still being fought over. 

"It is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, more than a billion people viewed the last event," Pragnell has told the AM Show. "There are some positive signs, but it'll be close." 

If the joint bid is successful, Pragnell predicts New Zealand would host 40-50 percent of matches, including the opener at Eden Park. 

The 2023 tournament will feature 32 teams for the first time, up from the 24 in France last year, when the Football Ferns lost their pool games to Netherlands, Canada and Cameroon.

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