FIFA has released the logo for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the intention being to celebrate the landscapes and cultural history of host countries Australia and New Zealand.
The tournament’s slogan, “Beyond Greatness”, has also been revealed as world football’s governing body starts the countdown to the biggest event in women’s football.
Planning for Plan A
FIFA insists it is planning for the World Cup to go ahead on time and with fans from all over the world despite ongoing travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia and New Zealand have heavily monitored arrivals into the countries during the global health crisis but tournament organisers aren’t making contingency plans at this stage.
“Both governments are working hard to open the borders and to make sure Covid is something that can be, shall we say, lived with,” FIFA’s chief women’s football officer Sarai Bareman told reporters.
“I believe the measures that are being put in place by the two governments in both countries will mean we are going to have an open situation in 2023 and both countries will be able to welcome fans, players and teams.”
“We have to be careful about putting measures in place, we’re all used to that now. For example, wearing a mask, social distancing and that kind of thing. It’s important we work with the two governments to work in a safe way.”
The global pandemic has seen attendances in women’s football in some countries stagnate in 2021, with the recent attendance of just over 23,000 at Wembley for England vs Northern Ireland being cited as a concern by many supporters.
Bareman admits there have been negative effects on the global game over the last year and a half but is confident the World Cup will help alleviate any problems in the long term.
“It certainly is a concern, we can’t deny that,” Bareman said when asked about attendances.
“Covid has affected football as it has other sports and wider society. It’s something we need to keep a close eye on.”
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“It’s obviously having an impact on getting people into stadiums so we need to use this World Cup and the build-up to leverage and overcome those problems that have come about.”
60,000,000 women and girls playing by 2026
Despite the problems brought about by the pandemic and economic downturn, FIFA is confident of reaching its target of getting 60,000,000 women and girls playing football around the world by 2026.
Bareman insists the World Cup is the highest-profile way to pull the women’s side of the sport up to where it belongs.
“The biggest changemaker in the women’s game is the Women’s World Cup. You just have to look at the numbers from France, they really pushed women’s football into the mainstream.
“The next generation of girls needs to have every opportunity to participate in, to coach, to lead our game and the Women’s World Cup is the biggest lever we have to pull to accelerate the growth of our game”
Plans to stage the Women’s World Cup every two years are ongoing and feasibility studies and discussions are being held by FIFA and players, coaches and officials.