If 2022 rounded off with exceptional drama as Argentina were crowned champions after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar that was watched by a record global audience, 2023 promises to offer every bit as much intrigue and excitement.
Kicking off the 2023 FIFA event calendar is the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup, which will be hosted in Morocco between February 1 to 11, and feature, among others, continental club champions Real Madrid, Flamengo, Wydad Casablanca, Seattle Sounders and Auckland City.
The tournament was previously held in Morocco in 2013 and 2014.
Aotearoa New Zealand will host the first ever Play-Off Tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup between February 17-23, 2023. 10 teams – Cameroon, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Haiti, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Portugal, Senegal, and Thailand – will compete for the final three qualifying spots.
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Australia & New Zealand opens on July 20, 2023 at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, with other matches in Aoteroa/New Zealand set to be staged in Dunedin/Ōtepoti, Hamilton/Kirikiriroa and Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Across the Tasman Sea in Australia, fans will be able to watch games in Adealaide/Tartanya, Brisbane/Meeanjin, Melbourne/Naarm, Perth/Boorloo and Sydney/Gadigal.
The tournament will introduce a number of notable firsts. For the first time in history, competing countries will use dedicated Team Base Camps while 32 nations (up from 24) from six confederations will compete for the title of world champions.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino predicted the ninth edition of the tournament will bring people together from all walks of life to celebrate one shared passion. Speaking just before the draw was made, the FIFA President said, “Football unites the world, and next year from July 20 to August 20, we will unite the world in Australia and in New Zealand.”
“I can make you one more promise, to all of you here in New Zealand and in Australia as well. This FIFA World Cup will not just be the best ever. It will turn your two countries upside down.”
Before we get to that, however, The Best FIFA Football Awards, will take place on February 27. The awards represent the highest personal accolade for players and coaches and are a celebration in which football fans not only play a role in the voting, but are also recognised too, via the FIFA Fan Award.
Voting in the various categories, which will take place on FIFA+, will begin on 12 January 2023 with the awards ceremony taking place on February 27, 2023.
Last year, Alexia Putellas and Robert Lewandowski were recognised as the outstanding performers in women’s and men’s football respectively, with the Polish striker picking up The Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year in succession.
Emma Hayes and Thomas Tuchel, the then Chelsea FC duo, were voted The Best FIFA Women’s Coach and The Best FIFA Men’s Coach respectively, while Edouard Mendy made it a hattrick for the London club by being chosen as The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper. Christiane Endler, meanwhile, was named The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper.
On March 16, the 73rd FIFA Congress will be held in Kigali, Rwanda. In February 2021, FIFA inaugurated a Regional Development Office in Kigali and on a national level, FERWAFA has been supported in its objectives to develop football by a range of stakeholders including FIFA, as well as Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and his government.
The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup kicks off on May 20 and will run until June 11 in Indonesia. The Southeast Asian country has a population of 270 million, and in October 2022, saw the launch of FIFA’s Football for Schools programme, which aims to make football accessible to both boys and girls across the globe by incorporating football activities into the education system, empowering the youngsters with valuable life skills and competencies through football.
Last, but by no means least, The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is headed back to the United Arab Emirates. Dubai played host to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2009 and, 14 years on, the tournament will return to the Arab world for its 12th edition. The FIFA U-17 World Cup is also set to take place in Peru, late in 2023. 18 years ago, the South American country hosted the same event, which was won by a Carlos Vela inspired Mexico.