Sporting history is made! FIFA Women's World Cup changed women's sport forever
History has been made for women's sport as Australia and New Zealand impressively hosted the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the largest female sporting event in the world. As FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: "the future is women."
Matches took place in ten stadiums across nine different cities in Australia : Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth; and in New Zealand: Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Dunedin.
A football tournament of firsts
The Women's World Cup was a tournament of firsts: the first to be co-hosted by two federations; the first taking place in the Southern Hemisphere; and the first to feature 32 national teams, the most countries to ever compete.
The increased number of teams saw eight new nations who had never played at a World Cup: Haiti, Republic of Ireland, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Vietnam and Zambia.
Record-breaking attendance at matches
FIFA suggests the Women's World Cup may be the most attended standalone women’s sporting event in history.
The proof is in the ticket sales, with 1.5 million sold for the matches, already overtaking the 1,353,506 spectators who watched the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Co-host Australia alone has contributed over 1.1 million to the total ticket sales, demonstrating the country's impressive support and enthusiasm for women's football.
The winners are also set take home a major prize of USD 270,000 each, with the overall pot of USD 110 million a three-fold increase from the 2019 tournament, which the World Cup organizers suggest will make a real and meaningful impact on the lives and careers of these players.
Rising popularity in women's sports
This monumental tournament has aligned with a surge in support for women's football, in terms of ticket sales, media coverage, sponsorship, merchandise sales, broadcast viewership, and live attendance.
Growing popularity in women's football is vital for women's sport in general, while encouraging participation among young girls, and promoting gender equality.
"This tournament is creating history, and we are delighted as Host Nation. This heightened interest in our national iconic brands is also reflected in record Matildas merchandise sales online and in retail stores. These numbers reflect the growing strength and appeal of the women's game, particularly the Matildas, and it's a testament to the incredible athletes who are providing us with such thrilling football," commented the CEO of Football Australia, James Johnson. “The Australian public has demonstrated how much they love the game and the Matildas and have come out in numbers at all matches across the country, and we thank them for their exceptional support."
Revisiting previous Women's World Cup tournaments
Taking place every four years, the Women's World Cup has seen four past champions: USA, Germany, Japan, and Norway.
Prior to the 2023 tournament, six countries have hosted the Women's World Cup over eight years:
- FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015
- FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011
- FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007
- FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003
- FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999
- FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995
- FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991
The Women’s World Cup serves as an important opportunity to get girls into sport, inspiring their futures through tenacious teamwork, crafting competitive strategy, and enjoying the benefits that a fit and healthy lifestyle can bring.
The Women’s World Cup certainly sets the stage for the very finest talent in women's football.