Women's Football World Cup 2023: NZ Football president Johanna Wood says tournament is bigger than Rugby World Cup

NZ Football president Johanna Wood believes the 2023 Women's Football World Cup will be a bigger tournament for the country than the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand and Australia will co-host the ninth edition of the tournament, after beating out Columbia 22-13 in the FIFA voting process. 

The tournament is set to be the biggest in Women's World Cup history with 32 teams - eight more than the 2019 edition in France. 

More than 1.1 billion viewers watched last year's tournament, with the final - between the US and the Netherlands - drawing a live audience of 82.18 million, while reaching 263.62 million unique viewers. 

"This is the biggest women's sporting event in the world and it is going to be bigger than the Rugby World Cup," Wood has told The AM Show. 

"Football is the global game and women's football is growing. We've seen that with the World Cup expanding from 24 to 32 teams and I don't think we've comprehended how big this will be."

Wood says half the teams will be based in New Zealand for the first phase of the tournament, with the country set to host 45 percent of matches - including the opener, likely at Auckland's Eden Park. 

Hamilton's FMG Stadium, Wellington's Sky Stadium, Christchurch's Orangetheory Stadium and Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium are the other proposed New Zealand venues. 

"Ideally, we want a 50-50 split," says Wood. "At the moment, we're around 45-55 in favour of Australia. 

"We will host four pools and get some round-of-16 games, we'll have a semi-final and they'll take the final. 

"We get the opening [ceremony] and they get the closing. Australia said we could host the bronze final, but it will be easier for fans if they're in the same city."

With just over three years to prepare for the tournament, Wood knows plenty of work has to be done to get ready.

"The workload is going to get bigger, but the FIFA team will help us with that. 

"We have also had offers of support from the Oceania and Asian football confederations, and as we identify what we need, we will be calling on Australians and New Zealanders to help."

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