FIFA Delighted as Women’s World Cup Exceeds Expectations with Record Turnout

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FIFA Delighted as Women's World Cup Exceeds Expectations with Record Turnout
Record-Breaking Attendance at Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand

In a thrilling turn of events, the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has witnessed a remarkable surge in attendance, with FIFA reporting a staggering 30 percent increase compared to the 2019 tournament. The football governing body lauded the event, stating that it had surpassed expectations in many aspects.

According to data provided by FIFA, the number of fans who flocked to the stadiums after 48 matches reached an impressive 1,222,839. This remarkable figure represents a significant boost of 29 percent when compared to the attendance after the same number of matches during the 2019 edition in France.

With the knockout stage of the tournament commencing this weekend, the average crowd size has been recorded at just over 25,000. Some matches have even boasted sell-out crowds, though the games have generally seen better attendance in Australia than in New Zealand.

However, there have been instances of less impressive turnout. For instance, in New Zealand’s Dunedin, the match between Japan and Costa Rica saw fewer than 7,000 spectators in attendance, leading to noticeable pockets of empty seats.

Nevertheless, the overall ticket sales have been phenomenal, surpassing the initial target set by the organizers of 1.3 million. So far, over 1,715,000 tickets have been sold, and FIFA’s women’s football chief, Sarai Bareman, expressed confidence that this number will grow even further by the time of the final, with an expected 1.9 million fans having graced the stadiums.

In an interview with AFP, Bareman shared her excitement about the tournament’s resounding success, stating, “The tournament has been incredible so far, it has exceeded our expectations in many ways.”

The global broadcast figures have been equally impressive, despite some matches being behind TV paywalls. FIFA noted that the reception worldwide has been overwhelmingly positive. The United States’ clash with the Netherlands, in particular, garnered massive viewership and became the most-watched Women’s World Cup group stage game ever in America.

When questioned about the reasons behind this surge in interest, Bareman pointed to the growth of women’s football, which has seen a significant reduction in the gap between top teams and made matches more competitive. This was evident from some surprising outcomes, as last year’s European Championship runners-up Germany, along with Brazil, Italy, and Olympic champions Canada, were eliminated in the group phase, making way for unexpected contenders like Morocco, Nigeria, Jamaica, and South Africa to advance in the tournament.

As the Women’s World Cup enters its thrilling knockout phase, football enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await more exhilarating matches and the crowning of a new champion. The success of the tournament serves as a testament to the ever-growing popularity and prominence of women’s football on the global stage.

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