Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today officially launched its bid to bring the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to the country.
The FFA is now calling for Australians to #GetOnside and submit registrations of support for the bid via its official website, AusBid2023.com.
As part of the launch, a number of Australia’s star players, including Lisa De Vanna, Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord and Chloe Logarzo, joined FFA chief executive David Gallop at Sydney Harbour.
De Vanna, who has amassed a remarkable 142 caps and 45 goals for Australia since her debut in 2004, became the first Australian to submit her support for the bid via the website.
She urged all Australians to join her in pledging support and claimed that should Australia earn the hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she is sure the tournament would leave a lasting legacy for the nation and football.
"The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the biggest women’s sporting event in the world and I am excited that Australia is bidding to host it," De Vanna said.
"I have played in three FIFA Women’s World Cups and am aiming to play in a fourth next year in France.
"I might not be on the pitch in 2023, but I know a FIFA Women’s World Cup would change the game in Australia and be an incredible experience for many current and future Matildas.
Gallop echoed De Vanna’s sentiments and said that hosting a FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would be a great choice by FIFA.
"Demonstrating to FIFA that Australia’s bid has the support of the nation is extremely important," he said.
"We want FIFA to know that Australia has passionate football fans and will warmly welcome the world’s biggest, and most prestigious, women’s sporting event to our shores.
"Hosting a FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would also deliver significant economic and social benefits to our nation, increase the commercial value of football in Australia and globally, and elevate the FIFA Women’s World Cup to new heights.
"Australia has a strong track record of hosting major international sporting events, including the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup and the Olympics, and we can assure FIFA that Australia would be a great host.
"Our bid has the backing of the Federal Government and thanks to their support, we are well advanced in our planning and ready for the formal process to commence."
Australia's bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup was handed a boost earlier this year after the country's Government agreed to provide a further AUD$4 million (£2.2 million/$2.8 million/€2.5 million) of funding.
The additional money was released as the Australian Government is confident the bid has a genuine chance of success.
The Government initially pledged AUD$1 million (£553,000/$709,000/€622,000) to the nation's effort at securing the hosting rights for the tournament when Australia confirmed its intention to enter the race in June 2017.
Gallop said the money would be used to to support the appointment of a bid team, who will be tasked with delivering the final submission to FIFA.
Australia has never hosted either the men's or women's FIFA World Cup.
FIFA has not yet outlined the exact bidding procedure for the 2023 event, but it is expected a host will be announced next year.
Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand are among the other countries to have expressed an interest.