(ATR) Australia is making another run to host a FIFA World Cup.

Australia is serious about bid for 2023 Women’s World Cup (FFA)

Seven years after controversially losing out to Qatar to host the 2022 men’s tournament, the country announced it will bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The Australian government is backing the bid with financial support. An initial AUS $1 million in funding would be augmented with an additional AUS $4 million if designated criteria and milestones are met.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Steven Lowy at the public announcement in Canberra.

“This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women’s sport globally,” said Lowy, as quoted by the FFA. “We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself.”

The Australian women’s team, known as the Matildas, are currently 8th in the world and have made the quarterfinals of the last two World Cups. They would likely be a legitimate threat to lift the trophy playing on home soil.

The last FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in Canada in 2015 with France hosting the next one in 2019. The 2023 tournament would feature 24 teams playing a total of 52 matches.

“Once FIFA officially announces the bidding process, we intend to make a compelling argument for Australia to be granted hosting rights for this prestigious event,” Lowy said.

“We know that this will be a challenging process, but we believe that we have the expertise and world class facilities to host a fantastic tournament.”

Colombia and Japan are the two countries who have shown the most interest in a 2023 bid to date.

South Korea Floats Idea of Regional Bid for 2030 World Cup

Gianni Infantino with South Korea president Jae-in Moon (far right) (FIFA)

South Korea’s new president Jae-in Moon and FIFA president Gianni Infantino discussed the possibility of a joint regional bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup during a meeting this week in Seoul.

President Moon wants North Korea to be a part of the bid, which could also include China and Japan. The idea was raised earlier this year by the head of the Korean Football Association. South Korea and Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.

The South Korean president told Infantino that the power of football is a tool that can help bring stabilization to the region, according to FIFA.

There would seem to be obstacles to such an effort, starting with China’s possible interest to host the 2030 tournament on its own.

Uruguay hosted the first World Cup in 1930 and is planning a joint bid with neighboring Argentina to host the centenary edition.

Regional bids may be the wave of the future with the expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in 2026. A joint USA-Canada-Mexico bid is currently the only hosting option on the table for 2026.

By INSIDER Gerard Farek

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