Australia is hoping to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023, with the Federal Government announcing it will financially back Football Federation Australia (FFA) to put together a bid proposal.
The Federal Government will provide initial funding worth $1 million, with a further $4 million to be made available should it be satisfied the bid has a chance of being successful.
The two-step approach, which the Government described as “cautious”, is in stark contrast to Australia’s disastrous bid for the 2022 men’s World Cup, for which the FFA received $45.6 million in federal funding.
Final bids are expected to be made by late 2018, with international football’s governing body FIFA set to announce the successful host the following year.
“I am delighted we are supporting a bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in a statement.
“The Matildas are wonderful role models for young women and girls right across Australia. It would be fantastic to have the Matildas playing to win the Women’s World Cup on home soil.
“We are a sporting nation, recognised internationally for our sporting achievements and for showcasing some of the biggest sporting events in the world.
“Women’s sport in Australia has moved forward in leaps and bounds in recent years. Staging the 2023 Women’s World Cup will continue this momentum.”
The Government has noted the potential economic benefits of hosting the Women’s World Cup, with the 2015 edition in Canada attracting more than a million spectators and a global TV audience of more than 760 million viewers.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra would be expected to host the 24-team tournament, which will feature 52 matches, with each city having staged fixtures in the men’s AFC Asian Cup in 2015.
Australia’s national women’s team, the Matildas, would gain automatic qualification for the tournament.
They are eighth in the FIFA rankings and have made the quarter-finals at the past two World Cups.