Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed it will bid to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup, with Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull throwing his support behind the plan on Tuesday.
Turnbull was among the dignitaries at FFA’s announcement at Parliament House in Canberra, with the governing body having secured an initial grant of $1million from the federal government to launch the bid.
A further $3m in funding will be made available “following fulfillment of designated criteria and milestones” an FFA statement said.
Australia previously bid for the 2011 Women’s World Cup but withdrew from the race early, with FFA having been advised the event would “incur a deficit of tens of millions”, according to then CEO Ben Buckley.
FFA also bid for the 2022 men’s World Cup but received just one vote as the tournament went to Qatar.
But speaking on Tuesday, FFA chairman Steven Lowy argued the Women’s World Cup would have a “major economic impact”.
“The benefits to Australia are many and varied with major economic impact to the wider community and, most importantly, a massive increase in exposure and investment in women’s football,” Lowy said.
“A FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would inspire a whole new generation of girls and women to take up the biggest participation sport in Australia, for many with the dream of winning the World Cup on home soil.”
Lowy added: “This is the largest, most prestigious and most competitive contest in a women’s sport globally. We want to win the right to host it and then win the tournament itself.”
Colombia, Japan, Thailand and New Zealand have already expressed interest in bidding for the 2023 tournament.
Australia’s women’s team – the Matildas – are ranked eighth in the world and have previously won the Asian Cup in 2010.
In 2016, the Matildas reached the quarter-finals of the Olympics but were eliminated by Brazil on penalties.
A year earlier at the Women’s World Cup in Canada, Japan defeated Australia to deny them a spot in the semi-finals after the Matildas had beaten Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16.
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