Australian and New Zealand bosses have embraced a FIFA report that rates their bid to co-host the 2023 Women's World Cup the best of the three submissions.
The prospects of an Australasian staging of the tournament received a significant boost when FIFA marked its bid higher than rivals Japan and Colombia.
FIFA said Australia-New Zealand scored 4.1 points from a maximum five in a bid evaluation report grading its plan for the first 32-team women's tournament. Japan scored 3.9 and Colombia trailed with 2.8.
The 37-strong FIFA ruling council will vote on June 25 and may take on board the bid evaluation report which rated Australia-New Zealand as the "most commercially favourable" contender.
Football Federation chairman Chris Nikou was heartened the report acknowledged the financial commitment of both governments and their willingness to work together.
"We are two nations from two confederations, united in proposing a historic and exciting step forward for world football," Nikou said in a statement.
"It will be a tournament of firsts. The first ever co-confederation hosted FIFA World Cup, the first ever FIFA Women's World Cup to be held in the Asia-Pacific region, and the first ever to be held in the southern hemisphere... we believe this represents a compelling offer to the global football family."
Japan's experience hosting big events was praised, although the report noted it preferred to host in the cooler weather of June-July instead of FIFA's desired July-August dates.
Colombia met FIFA's minimum requirements but the plan needs "significant amount of investment and support" with just three years to prepare, the report said.
The report praised Australasian infrastructure, facilities, a travel hub concept and match scheduling plans across four time zones.
NZ Football president Johanna Wood said it highlighted what they believe are key strengths of the combined bid.
"With technical excellence, commercial certainty and a historic tournament of firsts, Australia-New Zealand offers FIFA a unique opportunity to move the dial for women's football," she said.
The bid race was reduced to three when Brazil pulled out of the running this week.
Australian Associated Press