Following Australia’s historic feat at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised a A$200 million (over R2,4 billion) investment into women’s sport facilities.
The Matildas made history becoming the first Australian national soccer team to reach the semi-finals. That game also reached record viewership figures of 11.15 million as they lost 3-1 to England in Brisbane.
According to Albanese, these funds will be allocated for the betterment of sports facilities and equipment for women and girls as the Australians seek to build on the legacy of co-hosting the global showpiece with New Zealand.
Prime Minister Albanese said in a statement: “The Matildas have given us a moment of national inspiration, this is about seizing that opportunity for the next generation, investing in community sporting facilities for women and girls around Australia.”
“We want women and girls everywhere in Australia to have the facilities and the support to choose a sport they love.”
Australia Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese
Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr will be pleased with this announcement as she was also vocal about the need for investment into the women’s game. “We need funding in our development. We need funding in our grassroots. We need funding.”
Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, has welcomed the monetary boost.
“With the FIFA Women’s World Cup reaching new heights, we anticipate a further surge of up to 20% in grassroots participation,” Johnson said in a statement.
The sports minister, Anika Wells, said the Matildas had “changed sport forever” and that the Play Our Way program would “help the next generation of female athletes enjoy safer sporting facilities”.
“Too often women and girls are changing in men’s bathrooms, wearing hand-me-down boys’ uniforms, playing with men’s equipment on poor fields that boys’ teams wouldn’t train on,” she said.
The Matildas finished fourth overall after succumbing to a 2-0 defeat to Sweden in the Bronze medal playoff.
Photo 1 Caption: Australia’s Matildas pictured huddled on the field at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Photo: The Matilda’s (Instagram)