In a boost for women’s football, the Turnbull government announced today it would provide an additional $4 million to the FFA for an Australian bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“This is an exciting day – for women’s sport in Australia, for all sport in Australia and for all Australians,” said Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie.
“An Australian bid has every chance of success. We have world class female footballers, we can provide world class venues and a world class experience for participants and spectators around the world.” McKenzie said.
The announcement comes on the back of exponential growth in the level of interest in Australian women’s sport. Football has played a big role in that spike, with the Matildas’ continued success and the phenomenal rise of striker Sam Kerr.
“The Matildas went from strength to strength in 2017 and are now ranked fourth in the world,” said Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer.
“Their success encourages women of all ages to get active, get involved and participate in their favourite sport.”
“We have a fine example in Samantha Kerr who was not only the highest goal scorer in the inaugural 2017 Tournament of Nations which the Matildas won, but was also named 2018 Young Australian of the Year,” McKenzie said.
Last year, the Government gave $1 million to FFA to begin preparing the bid. The extra $4 million will assist the FFA – still smarting from its failure to land the men’s 2022 tournament – to make the best bid possible.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop was also in attendance in Canberra, quick to play up the potential economic benefits of a World Cup.
“We believe hosting the tournament in 2023 would provide economic benefits and years of trade and diplomatic opportunities for Australia,” said Gallop.
“The last FIFA Women’s World Cup, hosted by Canada in 2015, was attended by 1.35 million people and had a global television audience of 764 million, with 80 million of those in China.
“I think it’s fair to say that the Westfield Matildas have become Australia’s favourite team over the past year and they are inspiring girls and boys around the country to take up football, which is already the biggest participation sport in Australia.”
While the proposed venues and scheduling are still up in the air, there’s reportedly strong interest from a number of states.
“There’s a lot of work to do yet but I congratulate FFA again for its commitment to this very exciting opportunity,” McKenzie said.
FIFA is yet to release the bidding documents but it’s expected that official expressions of interest will be due around May, with final bids to be tabled in October this year.
Australia is likely to face stiff competition from Colombia, Japan and New Zealand for hosting rights in 2023. France is due to host the upcoming 2019 World Cup tournament.