It’s "crunch time" for New Zealand Football’s joint-bid with Australia to host the 2023 Women’s Wold Cup.
Japan’s decision to withdraw from the bidding ahead of the FIFA vote on Friday NZT has left the trans-Tasman bid as clear favourites.
But New Zealand Football President Johanna Wood says there’s still work to do before then.
"Until those votes are counted, it’s anybody’s game as far as we’re concerned," she told 1 NEWS.
Wood was presenting to CONCACAF this morning, and intends to talk with other FIFA Council members in the build up to Friday’s vote.
The combined New Zealand-Australia bid scored 4.5 out of 5 in the recent FIFA inspection report while remaining rival Colombia scored considerably lower – 2.8.
Japan’s score of 3.9 would have split the voting on FIFA’s ruling council among the seven Asian Football Confederation representatives, making their decision to withdraw an admirable one, Wood said.
“I think what Japan has done is that the AFC position has united, because there’s now one country out of AFC bidding,” she said.
“I think they’ve been very gracious in what they’ve decided to do. But it’s still a two-horse race.
“There’s no doubt that we did score well in the evaluation report. We also came through as low-risk for the delivery of the tournament. So that’s really important.”
Victory for the Oceania bid would make the 2023 tournament a first FIFA event across federations.
It’s due to be held from July 10 – August 20, 2023.