FIFA Women's World Cup mascot 2023: What is Tazuni and why was it picked for Australia and New Zealand? – Sporting News

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will see two nations host the tournament for the first time with Australia and New Zealand handed the honours. 
Games will be split across both countries with the tournament kicking off in Auckland before concluding in Sydney. 
With two countries to represent, FIFA have opted to introduce a new mascot unique to both nations. 
Tazuni was unveiled as the 2023 Women’s World Cup mascot prior to the group stage draw and has turned plenty of heads already.
MORE: When does the 2023 Women’s World Cup start? | Which teams have qualified for the Women’s World Cup?
Tazuni is a penguin based on the Eudyptula minor species which is endemic to New Zealand, with the closely related Eudyptula novaehollandiae species found in Australia and New Zealand
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, and ‘unity’. 
“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,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said. 
“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.”
She is confident.
She is stylish.
She is Tazuni.

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With a name coming from a mix of Tasman Sea, where she was born, and Unity, this 15-year-old is ready to capture the spirit of an event that will go #BeyondGreatness! ✨ pic.twitter.com/TMIpeAL3LL
FIFA could have picked two different mascots for this Women’s World Cup due to it being co-hosted, but believe Tazuni represents both nations. 
Tazuni is based on a penguin genus native to Australia and New Zealand, while her backstory has her born in the Tasman Sea, which connects both countries. 
Unity is a strong theme for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and Tazuni is a unique nod to that. 
FIFA also believe that Tazuni’s age and attributes will inspire the next generation of female footballers around the world. 
“Tazuni is the perfect mascot for this tournament, exemplifying all that is positive about the biggest women’s football event ever staged, and our sport-obsessed host nations who are ready to welcome the world,” Sarai Bareman, FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer said. 
“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.”
All but one of the previous Women’s World Cups have had mascots.
The first was a bird called Ling Ling and the most recent was a chicken called Ettie.
Ettie was notably described as the daughter of Footix, who was the official mascot for the men’s 1998 World Cup which was also hosted in France. 

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