22nd June 2020
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President today declared his support for the historic and technically superior bid by Australia and New Zealand to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
The FIFA Council will decide on the hosts on June 25, 2020 between Australia/New Zealand and Colombia following the decision today by Japan FA to withdraw from the process in another impressive show of Asian football unity.
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “On behalf of the AFC – and the Asian football family – I will be supporting the Australia/New Zealand bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 - and am sure that I will be supported by all the AFC’s FIFA Council Members.
“Not only is this a historic cross-Confederation bid, with our close friends and neighbours from Oceania, but most importantly, this is the most technically impressive of the bids that the Council must choose from on June 25 and we must be guided by the experts.
“The FIFA Evaluation report could not have been clearer on the outstanding sporting infrastructure that will allow the players to perform at their optimum level and are in keeping with the ever-growing profile of this world-class competition.
“The report also praises the general infrastructure in the two extremely well-connected and modern countries as well as the ‘commercially favourable proposition’ of the bid which has the financial and public commitment of the Governments of both countries – and we thank both Prime Ministers for their continued support.
“Both Australia and New Zealand have a long history of working together on domestic, regional and international events and delivering them in world class venues to the highest possible standard and efficiency.
“Add to this, the unique nature of the cross-Confederation bid, the fact that this is the first time the Southern Hemisphere will have hosted the tournament and the benefits for the development of the women’s game in Asia-Pacific that this united bid would unlock, then the proposition looks to be the only available choice.
“Asia has, in the last six years, presented a united front and its solidarity has been admired throughout the world of football and again, I am certain, that we will also join forces in Asia through its FIFA Council Members to support the Australia/New Zealand bid.
“I must also thank the Japan FA for their interest in hosting this competition and most of all for their decision to put the best interests of Asian football first by deciding to unite behind the Australia/New Zealand bid.
“The FIFA Evaluation Report praised the quality of the Japan bid and placed it only fractionally behind Australia/New Zealand and considerably ahead of the other bidder, Colombia.
“The Japan FA, along with the Korea FA who withdrew from the process last December, have both demonstrated that Asia continues to have the passion, the desire and the ability to host the biggest global tournaments – as Qatar will prove with the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
“The Japan FA has also shown, through their actions, that the unity of Asian football is vital and all of Asia applauds them for this approach which will all now lead to a much deserved success of the Australia/New Zealand proposal.
“The AFC wishes Australia and New Zealand the very best of luck in the vote and urges the rest of Asia as well as the rest of the world to vote for this bid – for the good of women’s football.”