Media Releases

05 July 2022: Hamilton Kirikiriroa to host FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Play-Off Tournament

Hamilton Kirikiriroa will be one of the first cities to get a slice of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 action, after it was confirmed as a co-host for an inaugural Play-Off Tournament in February 2023.

With just over one year to go until the ninth FIFA Women’s World Cup is hosted in Australasia in July 2023, today it was announced that Hamilton’s Waikato Stadium will take the lead in co-hosting the Play-Off Tournament, along with North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. This event is a new concept for the 2023 tournament and will see 10 top women’s football teams from across the globe take to Waikato Stadium to compete for the final three qualifying spots in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Along with this, the Football Ferns, who have already qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, will play a series of friendly matches with the competing teams throughout the tournament. This will give Hamiltonians a rare opportunity to see our national team in action and to climb aboard the Football Ferns fan train.

Hamilton Kirikiriroa Mayor Paula Southgate said the city was a fantastic centre for sport and top level women’s sport in particular.

“We’ve hosted the Women’s Cricket World Cup here, and the modified women’s Super Rugby. We host world-class netball matches at Claudelands and now we’ve got the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon. It’s brilliant. It offers wonderful opportunities for people in our city and it exposes what we have here in Hamilton to a world-wide audience.”

Hamilton Kirikiriroa is one of four host cities in New Zealand to welcome the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, with the others being Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau, Wellington Te Whanganui-a-tara and Dunedin Ōtepoti. Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide will also be host cities for the tournament.

Hamilton hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 is a big score for the community. The event is set to be one of the biggest sporting events on Australasian soil since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, with the Play-Off Tournament expected to bring significant benefits to the New Zealand economy.

Nine teams (China PR, Japan, Korea Republic, Philippines and Vietnam from Asia, and France, Spain, Denmark and Sweden from Europe) have now qualified for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and will join the two host nations – Australia and New Zealand.

Chinese Taipei and Thailand have qualified for the Play-Off Tournament. Qualifying matches continue until late-October 2022 to determine the remaining eight spots.

Further FIFA Women’s World Cup information:
• Keep up to date with the latest news regarding tickets. More information on Play-Off Tournament tickets will be released later this year.
• The FIFA Women’s World Cup will officially begin on 20 July 2023 and continue until 20 August 2023.
• The Play-Off Tournament will be the first of its kind for FIFA.
• The slots open in the Play-Off Tournament have been allocated by continent – Asia (2), Africa (2), North and Central America and the Caribbean (2), South America (2), Oceania (1) and Europe (1).
• The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, across Aotearoa and Australia.
• There were 16 competing teams in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015, which increased to 24 in 2019. In 2023 there will be 32 teams competing.
• Football is the most popular sport worldwide with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. While New Zealand and Australia have a long history and proven records of successfully hosting major sporting events, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will take that to a whole new level.