Ali Riley, the New Zealand national team captain, said she was chatting to a teammate on the phone when her message group chat “started going off.” When she heard the news, she burst into tears. “I just broke down when I heard,” Riley said. “This will be a chance of a lifetime to connect with fans. We barely play any home games – because we are so far away from everywhere else - so this is so epic.”
Elise Kellond-Knight, who has played 112 times for Australia, said hosting the World Cup will help propel women’s football in her country, where it normally has to compete with other sports. “For once it’s going to be the sport that everyone is tuned into,” Kellond-Knight said.
Australia and New Zealand beat the other prospective host, Colombia. Japan and Brazil dropped out earlier in the bidding process. Colombia captain Natalia Gaitán said she was “a little bit down but I am pretty sure that Australia and New Zealand are going to do an amazing job. I just hope to be there to live the moment in 2023 with you guys.”
In the online debate Raising Our Game: 2023 Women’s World Cup Player Discussion host Danielle Slaton, a former U.S. national team player, asked the players about the development of women’s football. Raising Our Game is the new FIFPRO report which puts players at the heart of the growth and development of women’s professional football, and includes a call to action for the establishment of global minimum standards in international tournaments.