A Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand would be a shot in the arm for female football participation. It would contribute to the target of 50/50 gender representation in Australia by 2027 while providing New Zealand with a 7 per cent year-on-year growth of female participation.
From a new Sydney Football Stadium to the unique Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, the trans-Tasman bid offers a range of world-class facilities. More than 50,000 fans will be on hand for the opener in Auckland. The grand final is expected to be played in front of 83,000 at ANZ Stadium. By contrast, there are serious concerns about the venues listed in Colombia’s bid. The proposed venue for the final, El Campin in Bogota, has a capacity of 36,000 – about 16,000 seats short of the required minimum for the decider – while the stadium in Cartagena is deemed well below the standard required for a major tournament.
Safety and security
Australia and New Zealand have a proven track record of running major sporting events and have been judged well on safety and security. Colombia is a far safer place today than it was in the ’90s. The worst of its political and narco-related violence is firmly in the past, but it remains a greater security risk than the trans-Tasman bid.
Advancements in women’s football
The W-League is celebrating its 12th season, the Matildas have qualified for seven successive world cups and New Zealand have reached the past four.
Although Colombia has established a national women’s league, it is plagued by pay disputes, allegations of abuses and has been given little promotion. The South American country is making steps in the right direction for bettering women’s sport but is years behind Australia and New Zealand.