June 26th 2020 – Remember this date everyone.
This is truely a day we have taken the game back. Back to all those fans who believed in the dream and #GotOnside, and to the deserving countries of Australia and New Zealand, and fans all over the world.
In the early hours of the morning many Australian and New Zealander fans anxiously watched as FIFA President Gianni Infantino was about to announce the winning bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Infantino confirmed that the host countries for the WC will be Australia and New Zealand after an incredible #GetOnside campaign received over 800,000 people in support for the bid!
I could barely sleep after having a Zoom call with my fellow Beyond 90 writers the night before. We all hyped up WHAT IF?
I paced up and down the lounge room and even munched on a Cadbury Dream chocolate block which I nervously gulped down as the announcement drew near.
I also woke up too early at 1am so this didn’t help my nerves and was drained as all hell. But the hope of hosting a WC kept me and millions Aussies and Kiwi fans up in anticipation.
When we heard the words from Infantino “The host country will be…” I’m pretty sure all of us for a brief millisecond thought oh **** it’s Columbia as he said COUNTRY not countries!
I lost my mind at the news! I Wasn’t able to wake up my folks but I went on social media and my Twitter feed. Check out some of the reactions below.
My favourite reaction goes to SBS Television Chief Football Host Lucy Zelic who cried tears of jublition that this was really going to happen.
True vindication of how much this means to all involved and how far we have come as a footballing nation.
This is an incredible day for football in this country and New Zealand.
But more importantly for Women’s football.
We never thought we would get this opportunity to host such a massive event but now all that doubt is definitely passé.
There will now be more attention paid to our top tier competitons the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League. And it will really boost up participation numbers for boys and girls that will want to play football.
Everywhere you look at Matildas games you see young girls and even some males decked out in Matildas gear.
I remember when I went to the Central Coast Mariners v Tasmanian State Rep end of season friendly game last year and I saw one young girl who proudly wore her Matildas Caitlin Foord jersey.
This little moment made me also believe that this dream could really come true.
It’s no secret our current Matildas are the best national side we have had in sometime and the expectations will now be even higher as Aussies will hope they can give it their all to bring our first WWC to Australia.
Lots of our Matildas players are making international club moves and some even getting picked up by big European clubs, which clearly shows how far we have come as a footballing nation.
It was exactly 41 years ago that our Matildas played New Zealand in their first ever match. Flash forward to now and both countries will host the WC.
Every state federation in Australia and the NZ Federation have done a fantastic job to promote the #GetOnside movement and they should be commended for that.
Football Tas really got into the swing on Summer Cup Finals Day back in March. As I went through the gates we saw all the signs and banners ready to go!
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Australia are really taking this seriously. This is huge redemption for our previous bid for the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup which in all honesty was a terrible way to give our intentions to host the biggest event in the world.
Earlier this week I showed THAT video we submitted for that bid to FT Referee Development Manager Tony Peart and he was stunned just how bad it was.
I mean A kangaroo stealling the WC? C’mon man..
But all that can be finally put aside after an incredible campaign that has truely paid off. Everyone got onside and wanted to see our wonderful country host the 2023 FIFA Women’s WC.
Well now we can..
This will be the biggest sporting event that Australia have ever hosted next to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
The 2023 WC will become the first to be joint hosted between two confederations and as the first to have 32 teams which expands from the previous 24 teams back in the 2015 and 2019 WC.
It will be an absolute pleasure to cheer on our Matildas across the nation and see the stands packed in green and gold!
And with a little bit of luck we could see games played in Tasmania at York Park (Aurora Stadium) and Bellerive Oval (Blundstone Arena) where both grounds have a capacity of 19,500, so it is more than deemed suitable.
Thank you Football Federation Australia, Football NZ and all other State Federations for your hard work over the course of a year to give us that real chance.
And thank you to the fans who signed the #GetOnside petition. 800,000 signatures is unheard of!
Now if we just get our Matildas to lift the cup in front of a rocking crowd and fans all over the world that would be great.
There is now lots of hard work to come but I can’t wait to join the journey as we countdown to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in our own backyard.
I was going to get back to sleep as I wanted a small nap before Chelsea FC v Manchester City in the EPL but I didn’t bother as I was too amped over the news.
Sam Kerr triple backflip in the final calling it now! 😂