Opera House and Sky Tower dazzle for Australia-New Zealand World Cup bid
SYDNEY (Australia) – The Sydney Opera House and Auckland’s Sky Tower were illuminated in blue and green to mark the joint Australian-New Zealand bid to host the 2032 Women’s World Cup on Thursday. This move comes just a few hours before FIFA makes its decision.
The “AsOne” bid is up against Colombia in a vote by 35 members of FIFA’s ruling council with a result expected at around 1600 GMT, which will be 2 a.m. on Friday on the east coast of Australia and 4 a.m. in New Zealand.
The Australasian bid was installed as a strong favourite to bring one of FIFA’s showpiece tournaments to the region for the first time after a bid evaluation report rated it 4.1 out of five to 2.8 for Colombia’s proposal.
Reports that some council members from Europe’s governing body UEFA might be leaning towards Colombia have caused some late jitters Down Under, however, and triggered memories of Australia’s ill-fated bid to host the 2022 men’s World Cup.
“I am nervous to be honest,” Australia captain Sam Kerr told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I am just nervous.”
The opening ceremony of the ninth Women’s World Cup would take place on July 10, 2023 at Auckland’s Eden Park, if successful. The final will be held at Sydney’s Stadium Australia a month later.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison will lead the bid’s final charm offensive ahead of the vote, which will take place by video conference.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field