I’ve barely had five hours sleep, but just saw the moment some Matildas, Football Ferns and administrators who poured their heart and soul into the AsOne campaign reacted once Australia was announced. Now all the emotions flood to me once again, leaving me on the verge of tears.
Dreamers dream of moments like this. The opportunity of a lifetime to have literally the best players in the world assemble in your backyard in fierce competition to win the World Cup.
The phrase “game changing” can be thrown around a lot. Oh playing in a 442 instead of a 443 “game changing”, a player returns back from injury, moving a forward back to defence (game changing for the wrong reasons usually).
But this moment, the first dually hosted Women’s World Cup, across two confederations, in two nations that love their sport, is game changing.
Watching our bid video is special. What strikes me is culture. Football is the world game. Our bid gives you the world in our backyard. 200 cultures, 300 languages, things that so often divide us, were used as the core, foundational reason WHY we should have the Cup.
Our bid won over the African and North American voting blocs. Heck, it won over the Asian bloc earlier this week, following Japan’s withdrawal. The mixture of world record commercial revenue potential, the first World Cup to be held in the Pacific and the ‘ideal playing conditions’ (of which no-one warned of the freezing cold Tasmania and New Zealand can provide during the winter months). But all amazingly key points.
The other is equal pay. Both the Matildas and the Football Ferns have done a lot in a short time. From strikes and fighting to be paid properly to equal pay. This fight that will see our top tier players continue playing past their early 20’s, formed a significant part of our bid.
To the bid team behind all of this, thank you. Thank you for understanding our game so intimately and for the mammoth effort. You’re all absolute giants.
Soak in this history making moment. Because WE HAVE THE 2023 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP!