Soccer-New Zealand to host 2023 Women's World Cup playoff tournament

FILE PHOTO: FIFA's logo is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) - The first Women's World Cup Playoff Tournament will take place in the cities of Hamilton and Auckland in New Zealand on Feb. 17-23 next year, FIFA said on Monday.

The Playoff Tournament will consist of 10 teams competing for the last three spots left to qualify for the Women's World Cup, which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20, 2023.

Thailand and Taiwan confirmed they would participate in the tournament while the remaining eight teams will qualify through their continental tournaments.

"The Playoff Tournament... will provide fans of all ages the opportunity to watch nations from around the world vie for the final three qualification spots as the excitement continues to build towards FIFA Women's World Cup," FIFA Chief Women's Football Officer Sarai Bareman said.

The Playoff Tournament follows FIFA's decision in 2019 to expand the number of teams competing in the Women's World Cup to 32 from 24 from 2023 as interest in women's football continues to grow.

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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