Football Federation Australia (FFA) has taken the next step in its quest to win the right to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 with the first meeting of the official Bid Steering Committee in Sydney on Friday.
The committee is chaired by FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM and includes FFA director Simon Hepworth and FFA chief executive David Gallop AM.
Former FFA Board Member Moya Dodd and Australia’s former Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja AM, are external members of the committee.
A representative of the Federal Government’s Department of Health will attend all meetings of the committee as an observer.
Steven Lowy said that while FIFA was yet to release the formal bidding guidelines for the 2023 tournament, a great deal of work had been done by FFA in collaboration with other football stakeholders and government’s at all levels to lay the groundwork for a compelling proposal from Australia.
“The prospect of hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia in 2023 has captured the imagination of people all over Australia, both inside and outside the game, and attracted tremendous support from governments at all levels,” he said.
“The Steering Committee is intended to give everyone confidence that the process is world class, transparent and accountable. We are grateful to Natasha and Moya for volunteering their time and for the commitment of the Federal Government to join as an observer.
“The next stage will see us approach our Hyundai A-League/Westfield W-League clubs and Member Federations about a volunteer from each group to join the committee.”
Mr Lowy said hosting a FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would not only provide local fans with a chance to attend a major world event and provide a social and economic benefit to Australia, it would leave a legacy for women’s sport and promote greater gender equality in society.
“Women’s football is the fastest growing area of Australia’s largest participation sport,” he said.
“We are continuing to work with all parts of football, with our partners and with governments to provide opportunities for our female players from the grassroots through to the Westfield W-League and on to the Westfield Matildas.
“With the game sitting on the eve of a wonderful celebration in Newcastle tomorrow, today’s meeting was a reminder of the unique position the sport holds on the world stage.
“We are also in the middle of a FIFA led process to expand the Australian game’s representative Congress and we believe this change should include significantly increased representation for women.”