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Australia, NZ confirm joint bid for 2023 Women's World Cup

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia and New Zealand have confirmed a joint bid to host the Women's World Cup in 2023. Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football announced the co-confederation bid on Friday in Melbourne, hours before the official bid book was to be submitted to soccer's world governing body FIFA in Zurich.

FIFA has plenty of contenders to host the first 32-team Women's World Cup ahead of the deadline for bid books on Friday. Other bids are expected from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Japan and South Korea, which could be a joint project with North Korea.

Grant Robertson, New Zealand's Minister for Sport and Recreation, said the countries “can work as a team to deliver something unique and world class, while also creating a legacy for women and for football in our countries and across Asia and Oceania.”

Soccer administrators in both countries decided a joint bid had more chance of success than going it alone. “The opportunity to partner, across not just member association boundaries but also confederation boundaries, represents a new level of cooperation for football,” NZF President Johanna Wood said. “The level of cooperation in a short period of time to develop the joint bid submission highlights the excellent way in which the nations would work to host the tournament proper.”

FIFA will conduct inspections of all candidate bids in January and February ahead of a FIFA Council vote expected in May.

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