RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE LIT UP / SOUNDBITES FROM WORLD CUP BID OFFICIALS AND PLAYER
SHOWS: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE LIT UP WITH IMAGES FROM WOMEN'S SOCCER MATCHES
2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUSTRALIA CHAIRMAN, CHRIS NIKOU, SAYING:
"We've put forward a bid of firsts, first between two confederations, first in the southern hemisphere, and a first Women's World Cup in the Asia/Pacific region.
"At the core of the bid is great infrastructure, strong commercials, player-centric, and more importantly a strong legacy for women and girls in our community for Australia, New Zealand and the whole of Asia and the Pacific."
3. IMAGES ON OPERA HOUSE
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIA INTERNATIONAL, STEPHANIE CATLEY, SAYING:
"We're so thankful for all the efforts that have gone in and it would be such an incredible outcome for football in Australia and all the little girls and boys who are aspiring to be footballers in this country. It would be such an amazing thing for everyone in Australia."
5. IMAGES ON OPERA HOUSE
6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW) MINISTER FOR JOBS, INVESTMENT, TOURISM, STUART AYRES MP, SAYING:
"2023, in Australia and New Zealand, there would be no better place on earth to really take the next step when it comes to celebrating women's football, let's all get onside."
7. OPERA HOUSE LIT UP
STORY: The iconic Sydney Opera House was lit up in blue and green to celebrate the joint Australian-New Zealand bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup on Thursday (June 25), 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 2am Friday morning on the east coast of Australia and 4am 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.
If successful, the opening ceremony of the ninth Women's World Cup would take place on July 10, 2023 at Auckland's Eden Park with the final 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 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Production: Jill Gralow)