New Zealand's football fraternity is bidding to convince the Government the merits of bidding for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019, with final confirmation of the bid required in October.
New Zealand were one of five countries to officially express interest in hosting the event last Friday (May 9), along with England, France, South Korea and South Africa.
Following on from other major events, such as London 2012 and the England 2015 Rugby World Cup, the English bid appears an attractive prospect, while the South African one has much emotional appeal following the successful hosting of the men's event in 2010.
But while the tournament, held every four years since 1991, has never taken place in Africa, neither the female nor the male event has ever taken place in Oceania
NZ Football chief executive Andy Martin consequently sees it as a great opportunity for the country, which is "high on their agenda" for future years.
"We're now working hard with Sport New Zealand and other stakeholders just to assess the viability of putting a full bid in and the feasibility of how it would look for New Zealand," he said.
New Zealand have hosted international football tournaments in the past, including the 1999 FIFA Under 17 World Cup and the inaugural FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup in 2008.
The 2019 event would be a step up, but it would also offer a chance to improve the competitive fortunes of New Zealand, currently ranked 20th in the world.
The national team competed in the inaugural World Cup in China in 1991, as well as the China 2007 and Germany 2011 editions, but were eliminated in the group stage on all three occasions.
Martin added that in order to finalise the bid by the October 31 deadline, they would have to reconfirm their interest in hosting next month.
"I think it's a very prestigious event, it would be a big coup for the country," he reiterated.
"Now we've seen the opposition, I think there's some strong countries competing against us, so we need to make sure that if we go into this we believe we've got a chance of winning it."
New Zealand, like England, France and South Korea, are also interested in bidding for the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup 2018, with South Africa the only exception due to the fact they are hosting the event in 2016.
Under FIFA guidelines, the governing body prefer that the two events are held in the same country, although they do "reserve the right to award the hosting of the events separately".
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