Gianni Infantino has called the Women’s World Cup a ‘great success’ as the FIFA boss hailed record attendances with more than 1.5 million tickets sold for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino was a ‘happy man’ as he hailed the ‘great success’ of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which has already set record attendances despite the tournament being less than a week old.
More than 1.5 million match tickets have been sold, already exceeding FIFA’s original target for the July 20-August 20 tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The total attendance after the first 16 matches was 459,547, a 54 percent increase from the first 16 games of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
“I really want to say a big thank you to New Zealand and Australia for hosting us here,” Infantino said.
‘We often say that football unites the world. New Zealand and Australia are uniting the world Down Under.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino poses with a New Zealand family who bought the 1,500,000th Women’s World Cup ticket
More than 1.5 million match tickets were sold, surpassing FIFA’s original target
‘I am a happy man, and thousands of happy men, women, girls and boys come to watch matches and millions upon millions watch from home, so [it’s] A great success
‘Great games, great goals and some underdogs who pull off some surprises or give the favorites a hard time […] All the ingredients are there from the start.’
A full house of over 50,000 fans is expected at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night when the Matildas take on Nigeria.
Despite the absence of injured captain Sam Kerr, Australia can beat the African nation to advance to the round of 16 with a Group B game to spare.
Meanwhile, Matildas defender Charlotte Grant said the squad had ‘adapted really well’ since Kerr picked up a calf injury the day before Australia’s 1-0 win over Ireland last Thursday night in front of more than 75,000 fans in Sydney.
‘It is to his credit [Kerr]Grant said.
‘He is such a positive person and has a great outlook on things. So he just told us to focus on the game and not worry about him.
‘Even though he’s not on the pitch, he’s a great leader and still takes us to the next game.’
Grant, who was ill before the game against Ireland, will find it difficult to earn a starting place against Nigeria given the form of fullbacks Steph Catley and Eli Carpenter.
Matildas defender Charlotte Grant says they have ‘adapted really well’ to Sam Kerr’s absence
Kerr (left) picked up a calf injury the day before Australia’s 1-0 win over Ireland last Thursday night and is expected to return for the round of 16.
‘I feel back to my normal self,’ she said.
‘I knew it would be tough coming in and have a starting spot with Ellie and Steph.
‘I feel lucky to play with them and learn things from them.
‘Whatever role I play, I will be ready for any opportunity that is given to me, and if I am put on the field I will give my best for the team, but if not, I will power on the sidelines.’