This morning international soccer governing body FIFA announced the 64-game schedule for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Up Australia & New Zealand, with Perth set to host five group games at Perth Rectangular Stadium (HBF Park).
The announcement comes with news from the WA Government that the stadium will receive $35 million in upgrades in preparation, including pitch upgrades, new player races, power supply and lighting upgrades and temporary infrastructure.
“To secure five games is a fantastic result, and I have no doubt that WA’s rapidly increasing appetite for football will continue to surge over the next 18 months,” said Sport & Recreation Minister Tony Buti. “Female football is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. The ripple effect from hosting the tournament will be long lasting and will inspire grassroots players across WA, enhancing the sport at all levels.”
And while the above may be true, the announcement also comes with news that not only will there be no Matildas games played here, WA will also be the only state where no knockout games scheduled.
Perth is one of nine host cities across Australia and NZ, with game dates as follows:
July 22 – Group Stage (D)
July 26 – Group Stage (B)
July 29 – Group Stage (F)
August 1 – Group Stage (D)
August 3 – Group Stage (H)
The teams and kick-off times for each fixture are to be announced, although the ABC reports that Perth will also miss out on hosting any top seeds.
Premier Mark McGowan is still confident of it being a major drawcard however, saying “Western Australia will see major tourism benefits and local fans and players will enjoy the chance to be part of one of the sporting world’s biggest spectacles. Just like Perth’s historic AFL Grand Final, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be something all Western Australians can be proud of.”
More to come.
Image: Shutterstock / Jose Breton