RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT
SHOWS: ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (JUNE 25, 2020) (FIFA TV - NO RESALES)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENT, GIANNI INFANTINO, SAYING:
"Ladies and gentlemen, today is a very important day here in FIFA and all over the world, because today FIFA Council has taken the decision to appoint the host of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
"Women's football is crucial for FIFA. It is so important that we have decided, the FIFA Council has decided, to award one billion U.S. dollars in the development of women's football in the coming four years.
"We experienced these days last year in France a fantastic Women's World Cup, the best Women's World Cup ever, which broke all the records, more than one million spectators in the stadiums as well as one billion all over the globe and it has brought women's football to a truly global stage.
"We want to continue with that on a path and with that the FIFA Council has already that as of 2023, as of the World Cup 2023, there will be 32 international teams participating instead of 24, so it will become even more global and having a much bigger positive impact on the development of women's football.
"For this bidding process which was highly competitive there were two bidders at the end, Australia and New Zealand and Colombia. I would like to thank both of them for their remarkable work, it was really really well prepared, congratulations to both of them.
"I would like to thank as well the council members for the studying of the files and for having of course taken the decision today, as well as the FIFA administration for the work carried out during the past few months.
"I can announce the host country of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 which will be Australia/New Zealand. Congratulations and thank you very much."
STORY: Australia and New Zealand were handed the right to host the 2023 women's World Cup soccer tournament after a vote by the FIFA Council on Thursday (June 25).
Their joint bid beat the rival bid from Colombia to host the tournament which is being expanded to 32 teams.
Japan, who had also put forward a proposal to host the tournament, pulled out after they were ranked below the joint bid by world governing body FIFA's evaluation report.
The report highlighted the infrastructure and organisational advantages of the Australia/New Zealand bid which FIFA believed would make for a commercially successful tournament.
There had been media reports that the vote could be tight with UEFA's European representatives backing Colombia but in the end the margin of victory was comfortable with Australia and New Zealand gaining 22 votes to Colombia's 13.
The 2019 World Cup in France was hailed as a watershed for global interest in the women's game and FIFA President Gianni Infantino personally drove the campaign to increase the field to 32 teams from 24 for 2023.
Infantino had also expressed a preference for the successful joint bid during the FIFA Council meeting.
(Production: Andy Ragg)