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FFA seeks to bring AFC youth women’s qualifiers to regional Australia

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has submitted a second bid to host Asian Football Confederation (AFC) youth women’s qualification fixtures in Australia in 2021.

Round one of qualifiers for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 are scheduled to take place in March next year.

FFA has already bid, along Cessnock City Council, to host a round one qualification group for AFC U-17s and furthermore partnered with Greater Shepparton City Council with the aim of hosting a round one qualification group for AFC U-20s.

If FFA’s bid is successful, three or four Asian nations would join the Young Matildas in regional Victoria for a tournament that would inject significant investment into the local economy.

“We are excited to have partnered with Greater Shepparton City Council to submit another bid to host AFC youth women’s football content in Australia next year,” said James Johnson, FFA CEO.

“This bid – alongside our submission with Cessnock City Council announced in August – aligns with our vision to host more national team matches on home soil, particularly in the lead up to our hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”

Johnson added that FFA remains acutely aware of the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines in Victoria and nationally, meaning any event FFA event would only be held in close cooperation with authorities.

“We recognise and acknowledge Greater Shepparton for their foresight to work with us on this bid, which may result in some of the potential stars of 2023 featuring in regional Victoria just two years prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup on our shores.

“The tournament will be a wonderful opportunity for our future stars to showcase their talent in front of friends and family. Football is a global game and we want to create more opportunities for our communities, particularly in regional Australia, to see international matches and connect with the game,” he said.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Seema Abdullah, said the potential hosting of the qualification tournament would help her region on its road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Council is very excited to partner with FFA to bid for such a prestigious international women’s tournament. Securing an event of such calibre would be a real coup for Australia and our region,” Cr Abdullah said.

“Our community has a proud football history and it would be great for the promotion of the sport in Australia and so inspiring to see our country’s best junior women’s footballers go up against Asia’s best, in our own backyard at the Shepparton Sports City precinct.”

“Local businesses in our visitor economy are doing it tough right now and if the tournament is secured and safe to go ahead it would be a real boost to our business community.”

Football Queensland’s 2022 State Referee Conference announced

Football Queensland has outlined details for the 2022 State Referee Conference, which will be held at the Logan Entertainment Centre.

Football Queensland (FQ) has outlined details for the 2022 State Referee Conference, which will be held at the Logan Entertainment Centre on Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 next year. 

In a two-day event, the conference will welcome a variety of referees covering all levels of the game, and will feature an Assessor Seminar as a main focus for the second day.

“Football Queensland is delighted to invite match officials from across the state to join us for the upcoming State Referee Conference, which is always a highlight of the football calendar for all Queensland referees,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said. 

“Regardless of whether you’re just starting out on your refereeing journey or an established match official in the NPL Queensland, the conference is a great development opportunity and a chance to socialise with the wider refereeing community. 

“The 2021 State Referee Conference saw referees from all levels of the game come together ahead of the season to hear from guest presenters including Football Australia Head of Referees Nathan Magill. 

“Next year’s event will follow a similar structure, with guest presenters joining us for sessions on day one before the Assessor Seminar on day two will welcome assessors and any referees who wish to mentor in 2022. 

“We look forward to seeing match officials from across Queensland join us for next year’s State Referee Conference ahead of the 2022 season.” 

Further information on guest speakers and topics will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Register for the 2022 State Referee Conference here. 

Australian Professional Leagues announce minority investment from Silver Lake

ALM

Australian Professional Leagues (APL), the entity responsible for the operation, commercialisation and marketing of professional football in Australia, have today announced that Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, has made a significant minority investment in the organisation.

The investment will drive technology enhancements and innovation aimed at improving the fan experience and driving further development of the game in Australia. The transaction values APL at approximately USD$300m / AUD $425M.

Silver Lake’s investment aimed at supporting APL’s sustained, long-term growth strategy for the leagues, with a measured deployment of capital over the coming years. Funds will be used to drive enhancements widely across many aspects of the professional game.

APL’s digital first strategy will continue to evolve with a focus on marketing, product development and strengthening its direct-to-consumer execution.

Funds will also be allocated to support the on-field enhancement of the A-Leagues including increased investment in all competitions with a specific focus on extended growth in the Liberty A-League Women and A-League Youth competitions. Additional investment is planned to be deployed for development of unique community engagement propositions to further connect the game.

Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans will become a Member of the APL Board.

Commenting on the announcement, A-Leagues Chair Paul Lederer said:

“Silver Lake is a world-class leader in technology and media investing and this partnership is a testament to the compelling opportunities for growth and even better, deeper fan engagement that our leagues are cultivating. This valuation recognises the latent potential that has long existed in the professional game in Australia, and the ability of our board and executive team to realise that potential.

“We welcome the opportunity to work closely with Silver Lake to harness the team’s experience, including around new technology adoption and other growth strategies critical to realising the potential of Australian football.”

Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans added:

“The Australian Professional Leagues has a large, growing and passionate fan base across its 13 teams and the organisation has made great strides as it focuses on leveraging technology to strengthen Australian football and enrich the fan experience.

“We are excited to partner with the Board, Danny Townsend, and the entire executive team to help further accelerate APL’s digital transformation and support its continued momentum and ambitious vision for long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The Silver Lake transaction has been approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Football Australia.

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