Jane Fernandez and Jane Patterson have been appointed Chief Operating Officers for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
Fernandez, who led Football Australia’s successful joint bid to host the World Cup, will be the Chief Operating Officer for Australia, while Patterson, who has worked across many major global sporting events, will be Chief Operating Officer for New Zealand.
In their new roles, each Chief Operating Officer will oversee the operational aspects of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 that is set to take place across Australia and New Zealand. In 2023, the tournament will have thirty-two international teams compete, up from twenty-four at the last World Cup, held in France.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said the appointment of Fernandez and Patterson as Chief Operating Officers adds excitement around the upcoming tournament.
“Their skill, experience in leading multi-talented teams and passion for football will be key to ensuring the delivery of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at the highest level,” she said.
Fernandez, the woman in charge of spearheading the “As One” campaign for Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid to host the world cup, has dedicated years to women’s sport. She has previously worked as Head of Sport for the Australian Olympic Committee, and as Tournament Director of the AFC Asian Cup in 2015.
James Johnson, chief executive of Football Australia, said he was delighted Fernandez had been appointed to the prestigious position.
He hopes her “vast knowledge and skillset will continue to be utilised by FIFA for the biggest sporting event to be held on Australian soil since Sydney 2000.”
Patterson was appointed project director of the initial operating phase of the FIFA Women’s World Cup by New Zealand Football, and has previously worked across a range of sports and tournaments, including netball, BMX, Ironman, and golf. She was awarded the Order of New Zealand Merit in 2016 in recognition of her services to sport.
“Jane [Patterson] has done a stellar job to date as Project Director for the Initial Operating Phase and we are delighted to see her continue to bring her wealth of knowledge and experience to the tournament,” Andrew Pragnell, CEO of New Zealand Football said.
FIFA has also started the recruitment process for the Chief Executive Officer role for the tournament.
Want more stories about women in sport? Sign up to our weekly update, The Sporty Wrap.