2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup (Māori: Ipu Wahine o te Ao FIFA i 2023)[1] was the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international women's football championship contested by women's national teams and organised by FIFA. The tournament, which took place from 20 July to 20 August 2023, was jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.[2][3][4] It was the first FIFA Women's World Cup with more than one host nation, as well as the first World Cup to be held across multiple confederations, as Australia is in the Asian confederation, while New Zealand is in the Oceanian confederation. It was also the first Women's World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.[5]

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup
Tournament details
Host countriesAustralia
New Zealand
Dates20 July – 20 August
Teams32 (from 6 confederations)
Venue(s)10 (in 9 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Spain (1st title)
Runners-up England
Third place Sweden
Fourth place Australia
Tournament statistics
Matches played64
Goals scored164 (2.56 per match)
Attendance1,978,274 (30,911 per match)
Top scorer(s)Japan Hinata Miyazawa (5 goals)
Best player(s)Spain Aitana Bonmatí
Best young playerSpain Salma Paralluelo
Best goalkeeperEngland Mary Earps
Fair play award Japan

This tournament was the first to feature an expanded format of 32 teams from the previous 24, replicating the format used for the men's World Cup from 1998 to 2022.[2] The opening match was won by co-host New Zealand, beating Norway at Eden Park in Auckland on 20 July 2023 and achieving their first Women's World Cup victory.[6]

Spain were crowned champions after defeating reigning European champions England 1–0 in the final. It was the first time a European nation had won the Women's World Cup since 2007 and Spain's first title, although their victory was marred by the Rubiales affair.[7][8][9] Spain became the second nation to win both the women's and men's World Cup since Germany in the 2003 edition.[10] In addition, they became the first nation to concurrently hold the FIFA women's U-17, U-20, and senior World Cups.[11] Sweden would claim their fourth bronze medal at the Women's World Cup while co-host Australia achieved their best placing yet, finishing fourth.[12] Japanese player Hinata Miyazawa won the Golden Boot scoring five goals throughout the tournament. Spanish player Aitana Bonmatí was voted the tournament's best player, winning the Golden Ball, whilst Bonmatí's teammate Salma Paralluelo was awarded the Young Player Award. England goalkeeper Mary Earps won the Golden Glove, awarded to the best-performing goalkeeper of the tournament.

Of the eight teams making their first appearance, Morocco were the only one to advance to the round of 16 (where they lost to France). The United States were the two-time defending champions,[13] but were eliminated in the round of 16 by Sweden, the first time the team had not made the semi-finals at the tournament, and the first time the defending champions failed to progress to the quarter-finals.[14]

Australia's team, nicknamed the Matildas, performed better than expected, and the event saw many Australians unite to support them.[15][16][17] The Matildas, who beat France to make the semi-finals for the first time, saw record numbers of fans watching their games, their 3–1 loss to England becoming the most watched television broadcast in Australian history, with an average viewership of 7.13 million and a peak viewership of 11.15 million viewers.[18]

It was the most attended edition of the competition ever held.[19]

Overview edit

The FIFA Women's World Cup is a professional association football (soccer) tournament contested by senior women's national football teams, organised by FIFA.[20] The tournament, held every four years and one year after the men's World Cup, was first played in 1991 in China, and was expanded to 32 teams beginning with the 2023 edition. The tournament is contested with eight round-robin groups followed by a knockout round for 16 teams. The defending champions were the United States, who defeated the Netherlands 2–0 in the 2019 final.[21][22] The event took place over a period of a month, from 20 July to 20 August, in Australia and New Zealand. This Women's World Cup was the first co-hosted tournament, and also the first senior World Cup to be held across multiple confederations. In addition, it was the first senior tournament to be held in Oceania, the first Women's World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere, and the third to be held in the Asia-Pacific region.

Schedule edit

The match schedule was announced by FIFA on 1 December 2021,[23][24] with kick-off times confirmed on 24 October 2022, two days after the final draw.[25][26]

The opening match of the tournament, between co-host New Zealand and Norway, was played on 20 July 2023 at Eden Park. The inaugural match played in Australia, was between Australia playing against the Republic of Ireland on the same day at Stadium Australia, after a venue change due to strong ticketing demand.[27]

Prize money edit

The total prize pool was US$110 million, $80 million greater than the prize pool of the previous tournament.[28]

At previous tournaments, FIFA paid total prize money to the national associations, but for the 2023 Women's World Cup it was set to award prize payments directly to players as well as the associations. This came as a result of reports in the women's game that a number of national associations were withholding competition prize money from players and/or not paying them at all.[28] In March 2023, global player union FIFPRO sent a letter signed by players from around the world to FIFA, challenging FIFA to make prize money in the men's and women's tournaments equal and to ensure at least 30% of prize money in the women's tournament made it to the players. While FIFA did not match the prize money of the men's tournament, it did significantly increase it, with more than half set to be paid to players directly.[29]

Just before the tournament, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced that the player payments would still be paid to the associations, and that FIFA planned to audit the associations to make sure the money got to the players. Football administrator Lise Klaveness expressed concern over what she felt sounded like reneging on the promise, both for the players and for FIFA's credibility.[30] During the tournament, Infantino admitted that FIFA had simply made recommendations to associations on how much to pay players, and they could not reasonably check.[31]

Place Teams Amount (in US dollars)
Per association Per player * Total
Champions 1 $4,290,000 $270,000 $10,500,000
Runners-up 1 $3,015,000 $195,000 $7,500,000
Third place 1 $2,610,000 $180,000 $6,750,000
Fourth place 1 $2,455,000 $165,000 $6,250,000
5th–8th place (quarter-finals) 4 $2,180,000 $90,000 $17,000,000
9th–16th place (round of 16) 8 $1,870,000 $60,000 $26,000,000
17th–32nd place (group stage) 16 $1,560,000 $30,000 $36,000,000
Total 32 $110,000,000

Host selection edit

Bidding began for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on 19 February 2019.[32] Member associations interested in hosting the tournament had to submit a declaration of interest by 15 March, and provide the completed bidding registration by 16 April. However, FIFA revised the bidding timeline as the tournament expanded to 32 teams on 31 July.[33] Other member associations interested in hosting the tournament then had until 16 August to submit a declaration of interest, while the completed bidding registration of new member associations and re-confirmation of prior bidders was due by 2 September.[34]

Nine countries initially indicated interest in hosting the events: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, South Korea (with interest in a joint bid with North Korea), New Zealand and South Africa.[35] Belgium expressed interest in hosting the tournament following the new deadline but later dropped out, as did Bolivia, in September 2019.[36][37] Australia and New Zealand later announced they would merge their bids in a joint submission.[38] Brazil, Colombia, and Japan joined them in submitting their bid books to FIFA by 13 December.[39] However, both Brazil and Japan later withdrew their bids in June 2020 before the final voting.[40][41]

On 25 June 2020, Australia and New Zealand won the bid to host the Women's World Cup.[42] The decision came after a vote by the FIFA Council, with the winning bid earning 22 votes, while Colombia earned 13.[43] Neither country had previously hosted a senior FIFA tournament. This was the first Women's World Cup to be hosted in multiple countries, and only the second World Cup tournament to do so, following the 2002 FIFA World Cup, held in Japan and South Korea. It was also the first FIFA Women's World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, the first senior FIFA tournament to be held in Oceania, and the first FIFA tournament to be hosted across multiple confederations (with Australia in the AFC and New Zealand in the OFC). Australia became the second association from the AFC to host the Women's World Cup, after China in both 1991 and 2007.[44]

2023 FIFA WWC bidding
Bidding nation(s) Votes
Round 1
Australia & New Zealand 22
Colombia 13
Recused 2
Total votes 35
Majority required 18

Format edit

In July 2019, Infantino proposed an expansion of the Women's World Cup from 24 to 32 teams, starting with the 2023 edition, and doubling the tournament's prize money.[45] The proposal came following the success of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and the prior edition of the tournament in 2015, which after increasing from 16 to 24 teams set an attendance record for all FIFA competitions besides the men's FIFA World Cup.[46] Expanding the tournament to allow eight additional participating teams gave more member associations a greater opportunity to qualify for the final tournament. This fostered the growing reach and professionalisation of the women's game.[47]

On 31 July, the FIFA Council unanimously decided to expand the tournament to 32 teams, featuring eight groups of four.[33]

The astounding success of this year's FIFA Women's World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women's football. I am glad to see this proposal becoming a reality.

The tournament opened with a group stage consisting of eight groups of four teams, with the top two teams progressing from each group to a knockout tournament featuring 16 teams. The number of games played overall increased from 52 to 64. The tournament replicated the format of the men's FIFA World Cup used between 1998 and 2022. For the first time since the 2002 FIFA World Cup, both qualified teams from each group were kept on the same side of the draw in the knockout stage, meaning they could potentially meet again in the semi-final. This was to minimise travel between Australia and New Zealand and to ensure both host nations remained in their own country up to the semi-finals should they qualify.[48]

Venues edit

Host cities and venues of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Australia and New Zealand proposed 13 possible venues across 12 host cities for the tournament in the bid book submitted to FIFA, suggesting a minimum of 10 stadiums be used—5 in each country.[49] The original proposal of the joint bid would have seen the venues divided into three main travel hubs: South Hub, containing Perth, Adelaide, Launceston and Melbourne; East Hub, containing Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston; and New Zealand Hub, containing Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The Sydney Football Stadium was the only new stadium, undergoing a major renovation during the bid period, replacing the old football stadium on the same site and opening on 28 August 2022.[50]

The bid evaluation was released on 10 June 2020 by FIFA, which noted that the majority of the stadiums listed in the bid meet FIFA's hosting requirements with capacity, aside from Adelaide and Auckland, which did not meet the minimum requirements capacity wise for stages of the competition proposed for.[51] Most stadiums featured in the bid were planned to have minor renovations with new floodlighting, pitch renovations,[52] in addition to gender-neutral changing rooms in time for the tournament.[53]

On 31 March 2021, FIFA announced the final host city and venue selections. Five cities and six stadiums were used in Australia, along with four cities and stadiums in New Zealand. From the proposed venues, Newcastle and Launceston were not selected in Australia and Christchurch was omitted in New Zealand. Eden Park in Auckland hosted the opening game, with Stadium Australia in Sydney hosting the final match.[54][55] As a part of the branding, all cities used native names (Indigenous in Australia and Māori in New Zealand) alongside their English names in an effort to "reconcile and respect the original owners of the land".[56] They were: Tarntanya (Adelaide), Meanjin (written as Meaanjin; Brisbane), Naarm (Melbourne), Boorloo (Perth), Gadigal (Eastern Sydney; for Sydney Football Stadium), Wangal (Western Sydney; for Stadium Australia), Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Ōtepoti (Dunedin), Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), and Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington).[57]

Eden Park, Auckland hosted New Zealand's opening match; Stadium Australia, Sydney hosted Australia's opening match (both group stages). Lang Park, Brisbane, hosted the third-place match on 19 August; Stadium Australia hosted the final which was held on 20 August.[58]

The World Cup forced many domestic Australian sporting teams to move matches from grounds under the FIFA lockout, particularly those in the National Rugby League.[59]

  Australia   New Zealand
Sydney Brisbane Auckland Wellington
Stadium Australia Sydney Football Stadium Lang Park (Brisbane Stadium) Eden Park Wellington Regional Stadium
Capacity: 75,784[60] Capacity: 40,583[61] Capacity: 49,461[62] Capacity: 43,217[63] Capacity: 33,132[64]
Melbourne Perth Adelaide Dunedin Hamilton
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium Perth Rectangular Stadium Hindmarsh Stadium Forsyth Barr Stadium (Dunedin Stadium) Waikato Stadium
Capacity: 27,706[65] Capacity: 18,727[66] Capacity: 13,557[67] Capacity: 25,947[68] Capacity: 18,009[69]

Team base camps

Base camps were used by the 32 national squads to stay and train before and during the Women's World Cup tournament. FIFA announced the hotels and training sites for the 29 qualified participating nations on 11 December 2022, with the remaining 3 qualified teams selecting their base camps after the Play-off Tournament.[70] FIFA later confirmed the last remaining three base camps for the play-off tournament winners on 21 March 2023.[71] It was the first World Cup to have dedicated base camps for the 32 participating nations.[72]

Team Hotel Training site
  Argentina Novotel Auckland – Ellerslie Michaels Avenue Reserve, Auckland
  Australia Rydges Brisbane – South Bank Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
  Brazil Best Western Hotel North Lakes Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex
  Canada Mercure Melbourne – Doncaster Olympic Park, Heidelberg West
  China Pullman Adelaide Croatian Sports Centre, Adelaide
  Colombia Mercure Sydney – Liverpool Marconi Stadium
  Costa Rica Distinction Christchurch Hotel Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub
  Denmark DoubleTree by Hilton Perth – Waterfront Kingsway Reserve
  England Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific Central Coast Stadium
  France Grand Mercure Hills Lodge Valentine Sports Park 1
  Germany Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast Regional Sporting & Recreation Complex
  Haiti Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough Percy Doyle Reserve
  Italy Grand Millennium Auckland Shepherds Park
  Jamaica Novotel Melbourne – Preston Victorian State Football Centre
  Japan Rydges Latimer Christchurch Christchurch Stadium
  Morocco Lancemore Mansion Hotel Werribee Park Galvin Park Reserve
  Netherlands Trinity Wharf – Tauranga Bay Oval
  New Zealand Pullman Auckland Hotel & Apartments Keith Hay Park
  Nigeria Sofitel Brisbane Central Lions Stadium
  Norway M Social Auckland Seddon Fields
  Panama The Playford Adelaide – MGallery Adelaide United Training Centre
  Philippines Mövenpick Hotel Olympic Park Auckland
  Portugal Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre Māngere Centre Park
  Republic of Ireland Emporium Hotel South Bank Goodwin Park
  South Africa InterContinental Hotel Wellington Porirua Park
  South Korea Rydges Campbelltown Campbelltown Sports Stadium
  Spain Copthorne Palmerston North Massey Sport Institute Palmerston North
  Sweden NZCIS Accommodation Wellington NZ Campus of Innovation & Sport
   Switzerland Distinction Dunedin Hotel Tahuna Park
  United States Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Bay City Park
  Vietnam Rydges Auckland Fred Taylor Park
  Zambia Novotel Hamilton – Tainui Korikori Park

Teams edit

Qualification edit

FIFA's confederations organised their qualifications through continental championships, with the exception of UEFA which organised its own qualifying competition. Australia and New Zealand, as co-hosts, qualified automatically for the tournament, leaving the remaining 207 FIFA member associations eligible to enter qualification if they chose to do so. Australia competed at the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup, whilst New Zealand did not enter the OFC Women's Nations Cup the same year. The reigning Women's World Cup champions United States competed in qualification through the CONCACAF W Championship.[73][74]

The Chadian and Pakistani football associations were suspended by FIFA, thus excluding them from entering qualifications.[75] Rwanda, Sudan, DR Congo and São Tomé and Príncipe entered qualification but withdrew later.[76][77][78][79] Kenya withdrew before the second round of qualifiers.[80] North Korea and Turkmenistan withdrew from the Women's Asian Cup qualifiers due to safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[81] Iraq withdrew after the AFC draw.[82] Due to the uncertainty of women's sport after the Taliban takeover of the country, Afghanistan withdrew from qualification.[83] Due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreaks in their squads, Women's Asian Cup hosts India withdrew from qualification.[84] American Samoa withdrew due to continuing difficulties related to the pandemic.[85] Russia were disqualified from competing due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[86]

The allocation of slots for each confederation was confirmed by the FIFA Council on 25 December 2020. The slots for the two host nations were taken directly from the quotas allocated to their confederations.[87]

A ten-team play-off tournament decided the final three spots at the Women's World Cup. The play-off slot allocation was as follows:[88][89]

  • AFC (Asia): 2 slots
  • CAF (Africa): 2 slots
  • CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean): 2 slots
  • CONMEBOL (South America): 2 slots
  • OFC (Oceania): 1 slot
  • UEFA (Europe): 1 slot

Of the 32 nations qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, 20 countries competed at the previous tournament in 2019. Haiti, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia made their debuts at the FIFA Women's World Cup. This World Cup was the first ever FIFA tournament the Philippines played in. This was Panama, Portugal and Vietnam's first ever FIFA women's competition, having only taken part in various FIFA men's tournaments. Zambia made history as the first landlocked country in Africa to qualify for a World Cup for either sex. Morocco became the first-ever Arab country to qualify for the Women's World Cup, while the Republic of Ireland marked their first-ever debut at any senior women's tournament. Denmark made their first appearance in 16 years after missing three consecutive tournaments, their last appearance being in 2007. Costa Rica, Colombia and Switzerland returned to the tournament after missing the previous one in 2019. Italy qualified for two consecutive women's World Cups for the first time in their history, after three sporadic appearances in 1991, 1999 and 2019.[90][89] Africa had four representatives for the first time in the competition's history.[91]

Thailand, Cameroon, Chile, and Scotland, all of whom qualified for the 2019 Women's World Cup, did not qualify for the 2023 tournament. Iceland was the highest ranked team in the FIFA Women's World Rankings that failed to qualify, ranked 16th at the time.[A] Zambia were the lowest ranked team to qualify, ranked 81st at the time.[92]

The qualified teams, listed by region, with numbers in parentheses indicating final positions in the FIFA Women's World Ranking before the tournament were:[93]

AFC (6)

CAF (4)



OFC (1)

UEFA (12)

  Team qualified
  Team failed to qualify
  Team withdrew or suspended
  Did not enter
  1. ^ North Korea, ranked 10th, withdrew from qualifications.

Squads edit

Each team had to provide to FIFA a preliminary squad of between 35 and 55 players, which FIFA did not publish. From the preliminary squad, each team had to name a final squad of 23 players (three of whom must be goalkeepers) by 9 July 2023. Players in the final squad could be replaced by a player from the preliminary squad due to serious injury or illness up to 24 hours prior to kickoff of the team's first match.[94]

Draw edit

The final draw took place at the Aotea Centre in Auckland, New Zealand, on 22 October 2022 at 19:30 NZDT (UTC+13), prior to the completion of qualification.[95][96] The three winners of the inter-confederation play-off were not known at the time of the draw.[97]

Retired American international and two-time Women's World Cup winner Carli Lloyd and CNN International sports presenter Amanda Davies conducted the draw. Each confederation had a retired international representing them as a draw assistant: Maia Jackman of New Zealand for the OFC and Julie Dolan of Australia for the AFC, alongside men's internationals Ian Wright of England for UEFA, Alexi Lalas of the United States for CONCACAF, Geremi of Cameroon for the CAF and 2002 World Cup winner Gilberto Silva of Brazil for CONMEBOL. Snowboarding Olympic gold medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand and four-time swimming Olympic gold medalist Cate Campbell of Australia also assisted the draw.[98]

For the draw, the 32 teams were allocated into four pots based on the FIFA Women's World Rankings of 13 October 2022. Pot one contained both co-hosts New Zealand and Australia (both automatically placed in positions A1 and B1, respectively) along with the best six teams. Pot two contained the next best eight teams, with the next best eight teams being allocated into the following pot (pot three). Pot four contained the lowest ranked teams, along with the placeholders for the three inter-confederation play-off winners. With the exception of UEFA, teams from the same confederation could not be drawn in the same group. However, since each inter-confederation play-off group contained multiple confederations, the placeholders were identified by the seeded teams in their respective play-off pathways to avoid any draw constraints. The draw started with pot one and ended with pot four, with the team selected being allocated to the first available group alphabetically. Pot 1 teams were automatically drawn to position 1 of each group, with the following positions drawn for the remaining pots. The pots for the draws are shown below.[99]

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
  New Zealand (22) (co-hosts)
  Australia (13) (co-hosts)
  United States (1)
  Sweden (2)
  Germany (3)
  England (4)
  France (5)
  Spain (6)
  Canada (7)
  Netherlands (8)
  Brazil (9)
  Japan (11)
  Norway (12)
  Italy (14)
  China (15)
  South Korea (17)
  Denmark (18)
   Switzerland (21)
  Republic of Ireland (24)
  Colombia (27)
  Argentina (29)
  Vietnam (34)
  Costa Rica (37)
  Jamaica (43)
  Nigeria (45)
  Philippines (53)
  South Africa (54)
  Morocco (76)
  Zambia (81)
  Winner of Play-off Group A[a]
  Winner of Play-off Group B[b]
  Winner of Play-off Group C[c]
  1. ^ The placeholder for the play-off Group A winners adhered to the geographical constraints of a European team in the draw (based on the seeded team in the group, Portugal). The Group A winner that eventually qualified was Portugal.
  2. ^ The placeholder for the play-off Group B winners adhered to the geographical constraints of a South American team in the draw (based on the seeded team in the group, Chile). The Group B winner that eventually qualified was Haiti.
  3. ^ The placeholder for the play-off Group C winners adhered to the geographical constraints of an Asian and Oceanian team in the draw (based on the seeded teams in the group, Chinese Taipei and Papua New Guinea, respectively). The Group C winner that eventually qualified was Panama.

Officiating edit

In January 2023, the FIFA Referees Committee announced the list of 33 referees, 55 assistant referees, and 19 video assistant referees (VAR) for the tournament. Of the 33 referees, FIFA included 2 each from Australia, Canada, South Korea, and the United States.[100]

France's Stéphanie Frappart, Salima Mukansanga from Rwanda, and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, who became the first female referees to officiate the men's World Cup in 2022, were among those selected for the Women's World Cup. They were also joined by female assistant referees Neuza Back, Kathryn Nesbitt, and Karen Díaz Medina, who also participated at the men's tournament.[100]

Heba Saadieh became the first Palestinian and Arab female referee to officiate at a World Cup of either gender. Firas Abu Hilal, secretary general of the Palestinian Football Association labelled Saadia as "a role model for Palestinian women who aspire to achieve success and greatness" and that she "has proven the ability of Palestinian women to excel in any field".[101][102]

The VAR at the tournament had the spoken explanations broadcast in the stadium and on television as part of a year-long trial of the technique intended to give more transparency to often-controversial decisions. Other sports with video referees already used the measure, with FIFA also having implemented it at the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup and 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[103]

On 18 August 2023, FIFA announced that American referee Tori Penso would adjudicate the final at Stadium Australia.[104]

Ceremonies edit

Opening ceremonies edit

There were two opening ceremonies, one before each kick-off game in the two host nations on 20 July 2023.[105] The first took place at Eden Park, Auckland, ahead of the opening game of the competition between New Zealand and Norway.[106] The ceremonies both featured indigenous welcomes, fireworks, dancing and live music, before a moment of silence.[105] A few hours before the opening ceremony, a shooting occurred in downtown Auckland during which three people, including the assailant, were killed. A moment of silence was held for the attack victims.[107]

The Eden Park ceremony was noted to be very brief.[106] It began with Māori and indigenous Australian artists;[106] colour and culture representing the indigenous people featured in the ceremony, with a haka being performed as well.[108] There was a dance with groups of dancers representing each nation competing at the tournament, and a montage of star players from all the participants.[106] To close the ceremony,[106] New Zealand singer Benee and Australian singer Mallrat performed the tournament's official song, "Do It Again".[108]

At Stadium Australia, Sydney, Indigenous Australian artists performed.[105]

Closing ceremonies edit

The tournament's closing ceremony took place at Stadium Australia, Sydney, on 20 August 2023, ahead of the Final. The ceremony featured a Welcome to Country, and a performance from Australian singer Tones and I.[109]

There was also an extended pre-game ceremony featuring a Māori poi performance prior to the first semi-final at Eden Park, Auckland as it was the final match to be held in New Zealand.[110]

Impact edit

The Sydney Opera House lit up in support of the Matildas during the third-place match

The performance of the Australian national women's team (the Matildas) greatly increased public interest in the sport. In a statement following Australia's win in the quarter-finals, FIFA said "football is the only subject on everyone's lips" in the nation, having an "enormous impact" on the Australian public.[111] In the lead-up to the tournament, more kits representing the Australian women's team were sold than for the national men's team (the Socceroos), for the first time.[112] By the end of the tournament, the Matildas had become Australia's most valuable sporting team, with the worth of their brand increasing fivefold.[113] Writing for The Guardian, former professional soccer player Craig Foster said: "We are not so much watching a national team compete, as a changing nation at play," citing the Matildas' performance for "overturn[ing] misconceptions of women's sport" and inspiring young women.[114] As a direct result of the team's success, on 19 August 2023, the Australian government pledged $200 million to improve women's sporting facilities.[115]

Australian TV broadcast viewership records were broken multiple times, with the country's match against France drawing about 4.17 million viewers on the Seven Network.[116] Less than a week later, their match against England marked the most-watched broadcast in Australian history, averaging 7.13 million viewers, with a total of 11.15 million watching at one point.[117] Live viewing sites were set up in cities around the country,[118] with major stadiums being used to show the match in Sydney to cope with massive crowds.[119] Both the Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, and other state leaders hinted at a public holiday if the Matildas were to win the World Cup.[120]

The success of the tournament and the high viewership increased support for Australia and New Zealand to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.[121]

Group stage edit

The group stage was played from 20 July to 3 August. Competing countries were divided into eight groups of four teams (groups A to H). Teams in each group played one another in a round-robin, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stage.[122]

Result of countries participating in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Group A edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1    Switzerland 3 1 2 0 2 0 +2 5 Advance to knockout stage
2   Norway 3 1 1 1 6 1 +5 4
3   New Zealand (H) 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
4   Philippines 3 1 0 2 1 8 −7 3
Source: FIFA
(H) Hosts
New Zealand  1–0  Norway
Wilkinson   48' Report
Attendance: 42,137
Philippines  0–2   Switzerland
Attendance: 13,711
Referee: Vincentia Amedome (Togo)

New Zealand  0–1  Philippines
Report Bolden   24'
Attendance: 32,357
Referee: Katia García (Mexico)
Switzerland  0–0  Norway
Attendance: 10,769

Switzerland  0–0  New Zealand
Norway  6–0  Philippines
Attendance: 34,697

Group B edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Australia (H) 3 2 0 1 7 3 +4 6 Advance to knockout stage
2   Nigeria 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
3   Canada 3 1 1 1 2 5 −3 4
4   Republic of Ireland 3 0 1 2 1 3 −2 1
Source: FIFA
(H) Hosts
Australia  1–0  Republic of Ireland
Catley   52' (pen.) Report
Attendance: 75,784
Nigeria  0–0  Canada

Canada  2–1  Republic of Ireland
Report McCabe   4'
Australia  2–3  Nigeria
Attendance: 49,156

Canada  0–4  Australia
Republic of Ireland  0–0  Nigeria
Attendance: 24,884
Referee: Katia García (Mexico)

Group C edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Japan 3 3 0 0 11 0 +11 9 Advance to knockout stage
2   Spain 3 2 0 1 8 4 +4 6
3   Zambia 3 1 0 2 3 11 −8 3
4   Costa Rica 3 0 0 3 1 8 −7 0
Source: FIFA
Spain  3–0  Costa Rica
Zambia  0–5  Japan
Attendance: 16,111

Japan  2–0  Costa Rica
Spain  5–0  Zambia
Attendance: 20,983
Referee: Oh Hyeon-jeong (South Korea)

Japan  4–0  Spain
Costa Rica  1–3  Zambia
Herrera   47' Report
Attendance: 8,117
Referee: Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco)

Group D edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   England 3 3 0 0 8 1 +7 9 Advance to knockout stage
2   Denmark 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
3   China 3 1 0 2 2 7 −5 3
4   Haiti 3 0 0 3 0 4 −4 0
Source: FIFA
England  1–0  Haiti
Stanway   29' (pen.) Report
Attendance: 44,369
Referee: Emikar Calderas Barrera (Venezuela)
Denmark  1–0  China
Vangsgaard   90' Report

England  1–0  Denmark
James   6' Report
Attendance: 40,439
China  1–0  Haiti
Wang Shuang   74' (pen.) Report

China  1–6  England
Wang Shuang   57' (pen.) Report
Attendance: 13,497
Haiti  0–2  Denmark
Attendance: 17,897
Referee: Oh Hyeon-jeong (South Korea)

Group E edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Netherlands 3 2 1 0 9 1 +8 7 Advance to knockout stage
2   United States 3 1 2 0 4 1 +3 5
3   Portugal 3 1 1 1 2 1 +1 4
4   Vietnam 3 0 0 3 0 12 −12 0
Source: FIFA
United States  3–0  Vietnam
Attendance: 41,107
Referee: Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco)
Netherlands  1–0  Portugal
Van der Gragt   13' Report

United States  1–1  Netherlands
Horan   62' Report Roord   17'
Portugal  2–0  Vietnam
Attendance: 6,645

Portugal  0–0  United States
Attendance: 42,958
Vietnam  0–7  Netherlands
Attendance: 8,215
Referee: Ivana Martinčić (Croatia)

Group F edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   France 3 2 1 0 8 4 +4 7 Advance to knockout stage
2   Jamaica 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1 5
3   Brazil 3 1 1 1 5 2 +3 4
4   Panama 3 0 0 3 3 11 −8 0
Source: FIFA
France  0–0  Jamaica
Brazil  4–0  Panama
Attendance: 13,142
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)

France  2–1  Brazil
Report Debinha   58'
Attendance: 49,378
Panama  0–1  Jamaica
Report A. Swaby   56'

Panama  3–6  France
Jamaica  0–0  Brazil

Group G edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Sweden 3 3 0 0 9 1 +8 9 Advance to knockout stage
2   South Africa 3 1 1 1 6 6 0 4
3   Italy 3 1 0 2 3 8 −5 3
4   Argentina 3 0 1 2 2 5 −3 1
Source: FIFA
Sweden  2–1  South Africa
Report Magaia   48'
Italy  1–0  Argentina
Girelli   87' Report
Attendance: 30,889

Argentina  2–2  South Africa
Sweden  5–0  Italy

Argentina  0–2  Sweden
Attendance: 17,907
South Africa  3–2  Italy
Report Caruso   11' (pen.), 74'

Group H edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Colombia 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6 Advance to knockout stage
2   Morocco 3 2 0 1 2 6 −4 6
3   Germany 3 1 1 1 8 3 +5 4
4   South Korea 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
Source: FIFA
Germany  6–0  Morocco
Colombia  2–0  South Korea

South Korea  0–1  Morocco
Report Jraïdi   6'
Germany  1–2  Colombia
Popp   89' (pen.) Report

South Korea  1–1  Germany
Cho So-hyun   6' Report Popp   42'
Attendance: 38,945
Morocco  1–0  Colombia
Lahmari   45+4' Report

Knockout stage edit

In the knockout stage, if a match was level at the end of 90 minutes of normal playing time, extra time was played (two periods of 15 minutes each). If the score was still level after extra time, the winners were determined by a penalty shoot-out.[122]

Bracket edit

Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
5 August – Auckland
11 August – Wellington
  Spain (a.e.t.)2
6 August – Sydney (Football)
15 August – Auckland
  South Africa0
5 August – Wellington
11 August – Auckland
6 August – Melbourne
  Sweden (p)0 (5)
20 August – Sydney (Australia)
  United States0 (4)
7 August – Sydney (Australia)
12 August – Brisbane
  Australia (p)0 (7)
8 August – Adelaide
  France0 (6)
16 August – Sydney (Australia)
7 August – Brisbane
  England3 Third place play-off
  England (p)0 (4)
12 August – Sydney (Australia)19 August – Brisbane
  Nigeria0 (2)
  England2  Sweden2
8 August – Melbourne
  Colombia1   Australia0

Round of 16 edit

Switzerland  1–5  Spain
Codina   11' (o.g.) Report
Attendance: 43,217
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)

Japan  3–1  Norway
Report Reiten   20'

Netherlands  2–0  South Africa

Sweden  0–0 (a.e.t.)  United States

England  0–0 (a.e.t.)  Nigeria
Attendance: 49,461

Australia  2–0  Denmark
Attendance: 75,784

Colombia  1–0  Jamaica
Usme   51' Report

France  4–0  Morocco
Attendance: 13,557

Quarter-finals edit

Spain  2–1 (a.e.t.)  Netherlands
Report Van der Gragt   90+1'

Japan  1–2  Sweden
Hayashi   87' Report
Attendance: 43,217

Australia  0–0 (a.e.t.)  France
Attendance: 49,461

England  2–1  Colombia
Report Santos   44'

Semi-finals edit

Spain  2–1  Sweden
Report Blomqvist   88'
Attendance: 43,217

Australia  1–3  England
Kerr   63' Report
Attendance: 75,784

Third-place match edit

Sweden  2–0  Australia
Attendance: 49,461
Referee: Cheryl Foster (Wales)

Final edit

Spain  1–0  England
Carmona   29' Report
Attendance: 75,784

Awards edit

Spanish midfielder Aitana Bonmatí (left) won the Golden Ball award. England's Mary Earps (right) won the Golden Glove award.

The following World Cup awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament: the Golden Boot (top scorer), Golden Ball (best overall player) and Golden Glove (best goalkeeper)[123]

Golden Ball Silver Ball Bronze Ball
  Aitana Bonmatí   Jennifer Hermoso   Amanda Ilestedt
Golden Boot Silver Boot Bronze Boot
  Hinata Miyazawa   Kadidiatou Diani   Alexandra Popp
5 goals, 1 assist 4 goals, 3 assists 4 goals, 0 assists
Golden Glove
  Mary Earps
FIFA Young Player Award
  Salma Paralluelo
FIFA Fair Play Trophy

Additionally, FIFA.com shortlisted 10 goals for users to vote on as the tournament's best. The award was won by Colombia's Linda Caicedo for her goal in the group stage match against Germany.[124]

Statistics edit

Goalscorers edit

There were 164 goals scored in 64 matches, for an average of 2.56 goals per match.

5 goals

4 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal

Source: ESPN

Assists edit

3 assists

2 assists

1 assist

Source: ESPN

Discipline edit

A player was automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences:[122]

  • Receiving a red card (red card suspensions could be extended for serious offences)
  • Receiving two yellow cards in two matches; yellow cards expired after the completion of the quarter-finals (yellow card suspensions were not carried forward to any other future international matches)

The following suspensions were served during the tournament:

Player Offence(s) Suspension
  Deborah Abiodun   in Group B vs Canada (matchday 1; 21 July) Group B vs Australia (matchday 2; 27 July)
Group B vs Republic of Ireland (matchday 3; 31 July)
Round of 16 vs England (7 August)
  Catherine Musonda     in Group C vs Japan (matchday 1; 22 July) Group C vs Spain (matchday 2; 26 July)
  Khadija Shaw     in Group F vs France (matchday 1; 23 July) Group F vs Panama (matchday 2; 29 July)
  Miriam Mayorga   in Group G vs Italy (matchday 1; 24 July)
  in Group G vs South Africa (matchday 2; 28 July)
Group G vs Sweden (matchday 3; 2 August)
  Kholosa Biyana   in Group G vs Sweden (matchday 1; 23 July)
  in Group G vs Argentina (matchday 2; 28 July)
Group G vs Italy (matchday 3; 2 August)
  Zhang Rui   in