FIFA president Gianni Infantino says football is on its way to becoming the top sport in New Zealand.
“It has improved greatly,” Infantino told Newshub.
“Football is becoming the No.1 sport in Oceania, overcoming, of course, rugby as well.”
Infantino says the scale of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup might have yet to sink in with the public.
“It’s a huge deal,” he added. “I’m not sure New Zealand and Australia realise what is going to happen to them next year.
“It will be massive. It will be great. The world will focus on New Zealand and Australia for the Women’s World Cup.
“At the last Women’s World Cup in France, we had 1.2 billion viewers. It’s incredible”
The television audience for the tournament to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand is expected to dwarf World Rugby’s figures for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, estimated at 857 million viewers, while the 2019 World Netball Cup attracted a mere 6 million viewers or spectators.