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Sunday, January 29 2023
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Tazuni: The shared mascot of FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts

world at feet, tazuni
Photo Credit : Twitter

In the aftermath of the Men’s FIFA 2022, one might wonder what is next. As far as the highest glory in football is concerned it’s the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 scheduled between Thursday July 20 to Sunday August 20.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is historic for several reasons. The 9th season of the Women’s FIFA will be hosted by two neighbouring countries Australia and New Zealand and of course two different federations. Games are to be split across both countries with the tournament kicking off in Auckland before concluding in Sydney. A record-breaking number of 32 countries chase the ball in the contest to carry home the supreme honour in football.

Talking about the mascot, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura opined, “Tazuni stands for everything which makes the Women’s World Cup unique, and her story will resonate with millions of young fans around the world. We look forward to her playing a starring role in the tournament and helping to inspire the next generation as we continue to take women’s football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Beyond Greatness.”

With two countries to represent, it has been unique with the mascot for the tournament for the season. FIFA has introduced a new mascot distinctive to both hosts. Tazuni was unveiled as the 2023 Women’s World Cup mascot before the group stage draw and has turned plenty of heads already. Tazuni is a penguin based on the Eudyptula minor species, which is indigenous to New Zealand, with the closely related Eudyptula novaehollandiae species found in Australia and New Zealand.

For the curious minds, according to FIFA, the new mascot is a 15-year-old midfielder, who fell in love with football after playing the game on the beach one day. Her name is the combination of the ‘Tasman Sea’, which separates Australia and New Zealand. Symbolically unity has been intended as the glorifying theme of the FIFA season, which is a great need of the hour.

tazuni

A few might wonder what stopped FIFA from picking two different mascots for this Women’s World Cup since being co-hosted by dual football capitals, but can there be a better option than Tazuni that most fittingly represents both nations? While FIFA believes that Tazuni’s age and attributes will inspire the next generation of female footballers around the world, the future is aimed high as one might gather from recent improvements in women’s football.

tazuni

Women’s football legends accepting the mascot have expressed their opinions on Tazuni as the perfect mascot for this tournament, exemplifying all that is positive about the biggest women’s football event ever staged. Like millions of youngsters worldwide, football is how Tazuni expresses herself, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 will provide inspiration for a new generation of football fans and participants from across the globe.

Women’s football world cup is always known better by their mascots. In 2011 it was Karla Kick, a cat, for the German tournament. She was born on June 18, 1995, which was the very day the women’s national team made it to their first World Cup final. In 2015 it was a great, white owl named Shuéme. Her name was inspired by the French word for owl, chouette, as a tribute to Canada’s status as a bilingual nation.

Ettie came along in 2019 for France. A young chicken who hailed from a long line of feathered mascots as the daughter of the men’s 1998 World Cup mascot Footix and represented the country’s Gallic rooster symbol. Her name came from the French word for star, étoile, as she came from the bright star that her father Footix was awarded for his efforts in 1998.

Tazuni

Expectations are high for the tournament and there is an expectation it will increase interest in the women’s game in Australia and New Zealand, the centre of the football world for a month. Women’s football world hopes that Tazuni will make a difference.

Amidst all said and done, one can only hope that women can enjoy gender equality in sports and make it a holistic and inclusive game where everybody belongs. The importance of achieving gender parity in football, and supporting future generations of girls who want to play is far from achieved for women. While Men’s Football is acclaimed and celebrated across the globe, where the women’s hard work on the field is hidden is a point to ponder. Not to forget the recent advancements in Women’s football are an indication of positive change.

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Roshan H. Raj

The author is the Vice Principal at Spearhead Academy and has Postgraduation in Communication and Journalism from Kannur University. He is a passionate journalist, debater and an orator. As a resource person he has conducted workshops and seminars on communication in Schools and Colleges of Karnataka and Kerala.

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