The Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 took place last night (Saturday 22 October) at Aotea Centre in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau, live streamed to a global audience. Among the 800 guests in attendance was both the President and the Secretary General of FIFA, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and FIFA legends and team representatives.
Waikato Stadium will host all five matches, including one with the current second ranked in the world team Sweden. Two of the previous world-cup winners also have matches, Norway who are ranked 12th globally, and Japan who are ranked 11th.
In 2011, Japan beat current tournament champions the United States, becoming the first Asian FIFA Women’s World Cup team to win the tournament, a title still held.
Zambia, who will play two games in Hamilton, will be the first African landlocked nation to qualify for a FIFA World Cup for either men's or women's football. In a similar vein, Vietnam will make their first appearance at a FIFA World Cup event for either gender, with one match in the city.
This is the first time two countries, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, will jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup, giving football fans an incredible opportunity to experience two unique destinations and nine host cities.
Mayor Paula Southgate said she’s looking forward to welcoming these international teams to our city, and the preparation work being carried out behind the scenes is phenomenal.
“We’re preparing our stadium and training venues, upgrading changing rooms to be gender equal, renovating fields and installing floodlighting to make sure these athletes will have the best visiting experience possible,” she said.
“We’re stoked to have the very best players in the world playing on the very best pitches right here in Hamilton Kirikiriroa.”
The matches to be held in Hamilton Kirikiriroa will be as follows:
- Zambia vs Japan (Saturday 22 July 2023)
- Switzerland vs Norway (Tuesday 25 July 2023)
- Qualifier vs Vietnam (Thursday 27 July 2023)
- Costa Rica vs Zambia (Monday 31 July 2023)
- Argentina vs Sweden (Wednesday 2 August 2023)
The tournament will be a catalyst for further development of women’s football in both host countries, creating a profound and enduring legacy for the women’s game. Ticket sales for the tournament to date have broken records, with more tickets sold in the first day of pre-sales than the whole presale period of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
Prior to hosting five group games, Hamilton Kirikiriroa will also host the inaugural Play-off Tournament. Taking place from 17 – 23 February 2023 in Hamilton Kirikiriroa and Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau, this tournament will see 10 teams from across the world compete for the final three qualifying spots in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Hamilton Kirikiriroa welcomes Cameroon, Thailand, Portugal, Chinese Taipei and Paraguay, as well as some countries that will be determined from the outcomes of early matches. The winner of the clash between Cameroon and Thailand will go on to play Portugal, filling the final qualifying spot in the tournament, going on to play in Hamilton against Vietnam.
The Football Ferns will also play a series of friendly games throughout the week-long tournament, one of which will be against Portugal.
Tickets for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 are on sale now, with tickets for individual games on sale from Tuesday 25 October. Tickets start from just $20 for adults and $10 for children.