2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Branding to Sport Indigenous Designs

Chern’ee Sutton with her artwork titled “2023 FIFA World Cup.” Courtesy of Chern’ee Sutton, 2021.

FIFA has invited the talented contemporary Kalkadoon artist Chern’ee Sutton to help design their official branding for the 2023 Women's World Cup. In 2023, the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be hosted by Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand with the logo and branding celebrating both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Māori cultures. The new branding will embody “the vibrant local landscapes and rich colours of the two hosts.” (FIFA, 2021). 

In a press statement, FIFA’s Secretary General, Fatma Samoura (2021), spoke about the new slogan and branding for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023:

“Women's football continues to grow and Beyond Greatness, the new slogan perfectly captures where FIFA wants to take the female game in the hearts and minds of football fans worldwide- Beyond Greatness.”

FIFA stated that the new logo will feature a “radial motif featuring 32 colourful squares – celebrating the new expansion to 32 participating nations, and an element commonly seen across the Indigenous cultures of Australia and New Zealand – is a prominent part of the design” (FIFA, 2021).

FIFA logo. Courtesy of Footy Headlines 2021.

The FIFA design, created alongside New Zealand textile artist Fiona Collus, features a rich, bold colour scheme with Indigenous motifs deriving from the original painting and textile art that Sutton and Collis have produced. In the lead-up to and throughout the FIFA tournament, Sutton’s original painting, titled “2023 FIFA World Cup” will be utilised in a variety of ways. The Kalkadoon woman’s design reflects FIFA’s own ambitions in using the upcoming tournament to celebrate unity, Indigenous culture and history and a brighter, more equal future for women in the world of sport (ABC News, 2021).

In an interview with ABC News, Sutton (2021) explained that the large, radiating yellow concentric circles in the centre of her painting (the community symbol) represents “everyone coming together” and that the “smaller community symbols dotted around the outside - six of them in different colours -…represent the different locations where the teams and players come from: the coast and rivers and lakes, the desert, the mountains, the cities. All different places, regions, locations from all around the world who will be travelling to Australia.”

Chern’ee Sutton with her artwork titled “2023 FIFA World Cup.” Courtesy of Chern’ee Sutton, 2021.

Sutton further explained to ABC News (2021) about her design:

"There's yellow community symbols with travelling lines, and that represents [supporters] travelling to Australia. They're surrounded by [smaller] dots, which are all the spectators around the world who are watching from afar.

There are hand prints in the piece as well which represent the connection that the women have with their communities and their families, as well as the support that's given to them.

There's a large snake, which is representative of the rainbow serpent [from] Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history and has been part of Australia for over 65,000 years."

The Matildas will co-host FIFA’s 2023 Women's World Cup. Courtesy of Football Reporting, 2021.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament will run from July 20 to August 6, 2023, and will feature games in nine different cities and 10 venues across the two host nations. 35 games will be held in Australian venues, and 29 will be held in New Zealand  (FIFA, 2021).

It is truly wonderful to see that one of the biggest women's sporting events on the planet and the FIFA governing body will be celebrating Australia's First Nations communities. First Nations women deserve the recognition and opportunity to share their culture with the world, particularly as women are so often under-appreciated and mistreated within the world of sports.