With the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup less than 600 days away, FIFA and the competition's organizers announced the schedule for the upcoming tournament.
FIFA and the organizers of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023TM announced the full schedule this Thursday, December 2, 2021. The 64 match tournament will feature 32 teams playing games across ten venues.
2023 FIFA Women's World Cup Schedule
- The tournament will open in Auckland New Zealand and close in Sydney, Australia.
- Australia to host 35 of the 64 games with the Group stage split evenly between both host countries.
- The Matildas are ensured to play entire tournament at home as described below.
The full details of the presentation can be found on FIFA.com.
The largest ever Women's World Cup will start on the 20th of July, 2023 and last 32 days.There are nine cities hosting matches for the Women's World Cup. Five are in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The other four are in New Zealand: Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington.
Sydney is the only city to have two venues hosting with games taking place at the Stadium Australia the Sydney Football Stadium which is currently being rebuilt and is predicted to be finished at the end of 2022 ahead of the World Cup.
Australia will host 35 of the 64 matches. The Group Stage will open with the qualified teams split into eight groups of four who will play each team in their Group once, thus assuring each qualified team three matches minimum.
During the Group stage, teams will play all their group games in the same country. New Zealand has been given Groups A, C, E and G while Australia has Groups B, D, F and H. During the 15 day Group stage, two to four matches will take place each day with one to three groups featuring.
Unlike previous World Cups where most groups played two group games at one venue and the group game at a second venue, there is more travelling schedule this World Cup. All teams will play their three group games in two to three different cities in their respective Group stage country. A minimum of three days rests is schedule between each match.
Like in previous tournaments the last matches of each group stage has all teams in respective groups playing at the same time to avoid any advantage which teams could have should they know in advance what outcome they need to get through to the knockout round.
As the hosts, both Australia and New Zealand have pre-qualified for the tournament. New Zealand has been placed as the first team in Group A while Australia has been placed as the first team in Group B.
Both teams will play on the opening day of the tournament with the Football Ferns opening the World Cup at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand. This will be followed by the Matildas' first Group B game occurring at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
After their opening match in Sydney, the Matildas will travel to Perth for their second group game on July 27, 2023 and then play their final group game in Melbourne on July 31, 2023.
Due to the greater number of teams qualified in the tournament, only the top two teams in each group progress to the knockout stage. The beginning of the knockout round, the Round of 16, will take four days to play from August 5-8, 2023. All cities except Perth and Dunedin will host games during this round.
Should Australia qualify for the Round of Sixteen they will play August 7, 2023. A top placed finish in Group B will see them play in Sydney at the Stadium Australia while a second place finish would have them in Brisbane at the Brisbane Stadium.
The Quarter-Finals then take place on August 11-12, 2023 in Auckland, Wellington, Brisbane and Sydney. Should the Matildas make it to this stage they would play August 12 in Brisbane if they top Group B or Sydney if they were second in their group.
The Semi-Finals occur in both Auckland and Sydney with the Matildas playing in Australia if they progress to this stage of the competition. A progression to the Semi-Finals also assures that each team play in the Third Place game if they lose or the Final should they win.
The Third Place game will be held in Brisbane on August 19, 2023. The World Cup match will be held at Sydney's Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023.
Speaking after the announced schedule, Football Australia CEO James Johnson said the following:
“This morning’s release of the Official Match Schedule is another important milestone as we approach the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
“We are very pleased with the match schedule from many perspectives.
"It has delivered Australia a higher split of matches with 35 of a possible 64 matches being played across the five Australian host cities and includes a Matildas match on the opening day at the new Sydney Football Stadium, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Final at Stadium Australia.
"It also guarantees that the Matildas will play all their matches in Australia, an important factor in the team’s preparation and for our fans.”
At present only hosts New Zealand and Australia are assured inclusion into the tournament. Qualification has started for most Confederations.
More details can be found on Football Australia's website.