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2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup breaks new records

By Christian Okpara
26 July 2023   |   2:05 am
FIFA yesterday described the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as already a resounding success, just six days into the tournament. According to the world football ruling body, there has been record attendances...

FIFA Women World Cup trophy arrives Nigeria. PIX: FIFA

Philippines shock hosts, New Zealand 1-0

FIFA yesterday described the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as already a resounding success, just six days into the tournament.
According to the world football ruling body, there has been record attendances with more than 1.5 million tickets sold, competitive matches and a festive atmosphere in the two host nations.

With the tournament capturing the hearts and minds of both home and visiting fans, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, thanked the two host nations for their efforts in raising the profile of women’s football to an unprecedented level on a global scale.

In a statement, Infantino said: “I would really like to express a huge thank you to New Zealand and to Australia for hosting us here,” the FIFA President said. “We often say that football unites the world. New Zealand and Australia are uniting the world Down Under.

“They welcome all of us – every single person – the volunteers, the police officers, all the employees; everyone who is connected somehow with the (FIFA Women’s) World Cup has done a tremendous job. It’s welcoming, it’s warm, it’s smiling, and this is really priceless. I look forward to travelling around Australia, as I have been in New Zealand, to experience the diverse cultures of this wonderful event.”

According to the statement, the opening day saw more than 117,000 fans pack Eden Park in Auckland and Stadium Australia in Sydney. “The 42,137 who attended New Zealand’s opening night defeat of Norway in Auckland was an all-time high for a football match – for women or men – in the country, while the 75,784 fans in Sydney for Australia’s match against the Republic of Ireland was the highest attendance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup for 24 years.

“After only six days of the tournament, FIFA had already exceeded its target by selling more than 1.5 million tickets for the 64 matches.

After yesterday’s game between Korea Republic and Colombia, which completed the first round of matches, FIFA said the total attendance over the first 16 games was 459,547 with an average of 28,721—a 54 per cent increase compared to the first 16 games of the previous tournament in France in 2019.

Indeed, both Colombia and New Zealand defied the latest FIFA/Cola-Cola Women’s World Ranking with their victories against Korea Republic and Norway, two higher-ranked teams.

Yesterday’s 1-0 defeat of New Zealand by debutants, Philippines, is the mother of all upsets as the Filipinos have never been to any major global football championship in their history.

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