International fans converge on Sydney Harbour Bridge ahead of FIFA Women's World Cup

Why block traffic on a traffic artery for a sport with only a small following?  If closing the bridge to promote women's soccer is right, why not close it to celebrate men's soccer.  I am not holding my breath. It is just more discrimination in favour of women.  Some people are more equal than others, it seems.  

Many people use Sunday as an occasion to visit friends and relatives.  To bad on this occasion if any of those they wanted to visit lived on the other side of the harbour

An estimated 4,000 people from around the world danced, sung and walked their way across the landmark ahead of the ninth iteration of the competition. 

Unity Celebration marked the 25-day countdown to the international soccer competition kicking off in Australia and New Zealand in July.

Chants from home countries and the sounds of drums shook the bridge during the event, which began with a smoking ceremony, followed by live cultural performances and speeches.

A special double-sided World Cup jersey was also unveiled, commemorating the co-host countries.

'The fans are amazing'

Head of the 2023 competition, Rhiannan Martin told ABC News she was expecting a massive turnout.  "We have great opportunities here for everyone to watch, I think the level of football will improve through the tournament."

Tehlia and Steve, two fans from Jamaica, were excited to see their home country play in next month's competition. "It's amazing to be in Australia while they're in the World Cup, and we can be here to support them," they told ABC News.

Anna, from Columbia, danced across the bridge with a group of friends. "We really can't wait until the girls get here. This is amazing, we are so excited," she said.

The 2023 competition will run from Thursday, July 20, to Sunday, August 20.

During the 32 days, 64 matches will be played in 10 stadiums across Australia and New Zealand.

There are 32 countries vying for the trophy — the largest number of competitors in the women's competition so far.

The first two games will take place in Auckland's Eden Park and Sydney's Stadium Australia, with the host countries versing Norway and Ireland respectively. 

The Matildas, representing Australia, are in Group B alongside Ireland, Nigeria and Canada.

Ms Martin acknowledged the investment put in by Australia and New Zealand in preparation for the games, and said it will prove a tough competition. 

"The groups are very strong. I know Australia have got a strong group," she said. "We're looking forward to fantastic football in 25 days."


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