Football Australia, in partnership with FIFA, NSW Government and Football NSW, united this morning at the iconic Sydney Opera House to mark this moment on the journey to 2023.
Matildas Chloe Logarzo and Bryleeh Henry and Young Matilda Hana Lowry were joined by junior participants, development players, administrators and officials from Football NSW.
“It's crazy to think that there's only 500 days to go, but to represent my country on home soil would be incredible,” said Logarzo.
“It's always a dream of ours to come home and play, but to have a World Cup to inspire the next generation is something that I would have never been able to imagine growing up and playing. It's incredible to be able to have this in front of us with only 500 days to go.”
For the first time, the FIFA Women's World Cup™ will be held in the southern hemisphere with co-hosts and 2023 is set to be the biggest edition yet with 32 teams to play 64 matches across a month of competition.
Jane Fernandez, COO Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 said: “Excitement is building as we are just 500 days away from hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.
“We are all working incredibly hard to deliver a tournament that inspires us all to go ‘Beyond Greatness’ and leaves a lasting legacy in Australia, New Zealand and across the globe.
“Seven teams are now confirmed – two for the first time – and qualification will continue to gather momentum over the next 12 months with 25 nations set to secure qualification and join us in Australia and New Zealand 500 days from now for the biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup in history.”
Co-hosting this event is a once in a lifetime opportunity to leave a legacy for the game here in Australia. Recognised as Australia's largest community sport, Legacy '23 will deliver enduring benefits both on and off the pitch beyond 2023.
Football Australia's Head of Women's Football, Women's World Cup Legacy & Inclusion, Sarah Walsh, said:
“Today is an incredibly exciting day for Australian football and indeed the world. In 500 days' time we will welcome the world to our shores for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and we cannot wait.”
“We know that this tournament will take women’s football to another level, and we are committed to leveraging it to escalate the growth of women’s football in Australia. Through Legacy ‘23 we will deliver meaningful change including 50/50 gender participation, greater female representation in leadership roles and greater access and pathways at all levels of the game.”
Nine host cities across Australia and New Zealand that will host the 32 teams with five Australian cities, including Adelaide/Tarntanya, Brisbane/Meaanjin, Melbourne/Naarm, Perth/Boorloo, Sydney/Gadigal.
The two co-hosts will continue their preparations for the tournament with a two match international series in April. The Matildas will welcome the NZ Football Ferns on 8 and 12 April with Football Australia last week announcing that Canberra will host the second match. Match details are available on matildas.com.au.