by Kieran Yap (20/7/22)
Above: The Women’s World Cup – the tournament starts in a year’s time today. Photo: USA Today.
Australia and New Zealand have started the 365-day countdown to the Women’s World Cup with the unveiling of the Unity Pitch in Sydney, along with some other big announcements for football fans.
Landmarks across the two nations’ host cities were lit up in lights to celebrate the fast-approaching tournament. The Sydney/Gadigal, Harbour Bridge and Aukland’s/Tāmaki Makaurau, Sky Tower joined Wellington’s/Te Whanganui-a-Tara Parliament House and numerous other locations in the visual celebration.
In another huge announcement, FIFA revealed that the first tickets will go on sale to the public on 6th October. Prices will begin at $10 (£5.75) for children and $20 (£11.51) for adults.
At the launch of the Unity Pitch, FIFA Secretary-General Fatma Samoura had one more surprise. Although discussions are still underway, there is a possibility of massively increased prize money for the 2023 World Cup. The hope is that it will be as high as $100 million for whoever lifts the trophy next year.
“Today is a great day in the build-up to the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Samoura at the ‘One Year To Go’ event
“The excitement at the lighting ceremony in Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and the enthusiasm around women’s football here at Barangaroo Reserve for unveiling of the Unity Pitch, is wonderful and this support and passion will make the FIFA Women’s World Cup truly unforgettable.
“This competition will provide a platform to inspire and unite through the power of women’s football and FIFA, together with the host countries, looks forward to welcoming players and fans from around the world and going Beyond Greatness together in 2023.”
Created with the tournament’s colourful livery in mind, The Unity Pitch it will be open to the public and local football groups until 24 July.
Following that it will tour each of the tournament’s nine Host Cities over the next year. A Unity Pitch will be gifted to both Host Countries, Australia and New Zealand, as part of FIFA’s commitment to leave a lasting legacy in the region.
Joining Samoura at the unveiling was Matildas’ star Ellie Carpenter and FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman.
“Today is a hugely exciting milestone,” said Bareman. “And with qualifications taking place around the world for the competition, more community spaces for women and girls to play football, and tickets about to be released, FIFA is hugely excited to see women’s football go Beyond Greatness in 2023.”
Fans can register for access to tickets at Register Interest (fifa.com)