The biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup in history begins today

The biggest FIFA Women's World Cup in history begins today

The biggest FIFA Women’s World Cup has begun today with New Zealand launching the tournament against Norway at Eden Park.

Australia and New Zealand are co-hosting the ninth edition, which for the first time will feature 32 nations including defending world champions the United States. It is the first Women’s World Cup with two co-hosts.

Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia Women will begin their campaign in front of their own supporters in Sydney when they face Ireland Women also today.

It is on course to be the most-watched Women’s World Cup, with more than 1.3 million tickets bought in advance for the 64 matches at 10 venues across nine cities according to FIFA.

Organisers are targeting a record two billion television viewers for the 2023 edition, a figure that would double the audience that watched the 2019 World Cup in France.

As well as the Republic of Ireland, seven other nations are making their debut at this World Cup – Vietnam, Zambia, Haiti, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines and Portugal.

While the United States – who are chasing a fifth world title – are the number one side in the world, Zambia lie 77th and are the lowest-ranked team at the tournament.

With 32 teams at this edition, – up from 24 in 2019 and 16 as recently as 2011 – there are 736 players at this World Cup.

Three of those players are appearing at the tournament for a sixth time – Marta (Brazil), Onome Ebi (Nigeria) and Christine Sinclair (Canada).

Having turned 40 in May, defender Ebi is the oldest player in Australia and New Zealand.

But she still trails Brazil’s Formiga, who holds the record as the oldest player to take part in the competition at 41 years and 112 days in 2019.

The final takes place at Stadium Australia on 20 August.

Meanwhile, FIFA has sold out all partnership packages for the tournament.

Across the partnership programme, there will be five global FIFA Partners, two global women’s football partners, nine global FIFA Women’s World Cup™ sponsors and 14 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament supporters.

The announcement sees FIFA’s commercial partnership programme grow from 12 (six partners and six host country supporters) during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ to 30 this year – marking an increase of over 100%.

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