Organisers of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is set to begin in just 100 days, are confident that they will be able to sell a record-breaking 1.5 million tickets for the event. Around 650,000 tickets have already been sold for the tournament, which will take place in Australia and New Zealand. The World Cup will kick off on July 20th with the final taking place on August 20th.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has expressed her enthusiasm for the tournament and stated that FIFA’s mission is to make this the biggest and best Women’s World Cup in history. It is expected that more than 100,000 fans will attend the opening day of the tournament, when New Zealand plays Norway at the 50,000 capacity Eden Park in Auckland and Australia faces the Republic of Ireland at the 83,500 capacity Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The last phase of ticket sales has just started and FIFA is hoping to reach their target of 1.5 million tickets sold. This would be a significant milestone for women’s football, as during the build-up to the 2019 World Cup in France, FIFA reported that a record 720,000 tickets had been sold with 50 days to go. On the eve of the tournament 950,000 tickets had been purchased and a week later FIFA said more than 1 million tickets had been allocated to fans around the world.
This year’s tournament will be the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup and will feature 32 countries competing over 64 matches at 10 different venues across nine cities in Australia and New Zealand. Eight teams are making their World Cup debuts – Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Vietnam, Philippines, Haiti, Panama, Zambia and Morocco. Zambia is the lowest ranked team at the tournament, while Denmark is making its first World Cup appearance in 16 years.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has predicted that this year’s edition will be the “best ever” after it was expanded from 24 teams in 2019. Seven teams have appeared at all eight previous tournaments – United States, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Norway and Nigeria. European champions England, who are making their sixth appearance, will be based in Australia.
The United States are looking to be crowned world champions for the third straight tournament after successes in Canada in 2015 and in France in 2019. The number one ranked team in the world will be based in New Zealand for their Group E campaign.
However, the tournament has already courted controversy three months before it starts. FIFA has dropped plans for Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority to be named as an official sponsor of the tournament following criticism from players and sponsors about the proposed deal. FIFA has also been criticised for appointing supermodel Adriana Lima as a global fan ambassador.
In addition, a newly-created qualifying tournament – with 10 teams flying to New Zealand for games to decide the final three places at the tournament – was labelled “unnecessary”. Meanwhile, several teams have had their own issues in the build-up. Canada, Spain and France have made headlines in recent months as disputes between players and federations have escalated, although France’s issues appear to have been resolved with the appointment of a new manager.
Brazil’s legendary forward Marta could appear in her sixth successive World Cup. Other players could also feature for a sixth time, including Canada’s Christine Sinclair and Nigeria’s Onome Ebi – who both turn 40 before the start of the tournament. However, there could be some notable absentees in Australia and New Zealand due to injury or disputes between players and federations.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is set to be an historic event with organisers expecting to sell a record-breaking 1.5 million tickets and a global television audience of two billion viewers. The tournament has already courted controversy three months before it starts due to issues between players and federations as well as FIFA’s decision to appoint a global fan ambassador. There could be some notable absentees due to injury or disputes but Brazil’s legendary forward Marta could appear in her sixth successive World Cup.