Australian Federal government announced that it will provide a grant of AUS$12 million (US$9.36 million) over the course of the next 24 months to support the progression of elite women’s football in Australia.
The financial package is instrumental for Football Australia (FA) to support high-performance objectives for all women’s national teams. This includes eight additional international matches for the Australian women’s national football team to help them in preparation for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, strengthening high-performance resources, as well as international tours and domestic camps for existing national youth teams to create a backup for the existing team and also building world-class teams for the future.
The funding comes as part of Football Australia’s ambitious ‘Legacy 23 plan’ which is aligned with Australia’s co-hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 alongside New Zealand. This will help to create a pipeline of talent and competitive depth with a world-class program leading up to the home tournament.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, thanked the Federal Government for its support and said, “We are thrilled that the Australian government have listened to our research, and have opted to support the Matildas, women’s football and football broadly as our senior team gears up to compete on home soil in 2023 – an event that will be the biggest on Australian shores since Sydney 2000.”
In addition to the High-Performance component, part of the Australian Government’s Funding Announcement includes support for Football Australia’s Club Development Program.
“This funding will enable Football Australia, in partnership with its Member Federations and other stakeholders, to deliver enhanced services and engagement to football Clubs, participants, coaches, and administrators across the nation,” Johnson added.
Senior player Sam Kerr and Steph Catley also welcomed the High-Performance Funding, which comes as a crucial time in the women’s football cycle.
“I think it’s massive. The funding will help us to build the game and have a stronger national team to compete at major international tournaments such as the Olympics, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™, and FIFA Women’s World Cup™. As we grow stronger, both at youth and senior level, Australians will be inspired to engage with football, get active, and gain a broader awareness of the truly global nature of our sport, which helps people to understand and respect different cultures,” Sam Kerr said.
“This funding from the Australian Government is a massive opportunity to support our preparation over the next two years with some big tournaments ahead. There is so much to come, and a stronger partnership between the Australian Government and football will allow us to realise the benefits of hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2023,” Catley added.
The 9th edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, during a reserved period in the FIFA Women’s International Match Calendar between 10 July and 20 August 2023.