FFA have announced that it has partnered with Cessnock City Council in a bid to host the AFC women’s football qualification fixtures in Australia, in 2021.
The governing body hopes to host a round one qualification group for the 2022 AFC-U17 Women’s Championship.
If the bid is successful, Cessnock, in the Hunter region of New South Wales, would host the Junior Matildas’ qualification pool in April of next year.
Up to ten fixtures would take place at Cessnock’s Baddeley Park, a facility which is likely to be used as a base camp for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“We are delighted to be working with the proactive Cessnock City Council to submit a bid to host elite Asian women’s football qualifiers in Australia in 2021,” FFA CEO James Johnson said.
“On the back of the recent announcement that Australia, together with New Zealand, will co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, this is precisely the type of content we need to bring to our shores. This type of activity will help ensure FFA can fulfil its mission to become the centre of women’s football in Asia-Pacific and continue to grow interest and participation in the women’s game.
“It is also a priority for FFA to host more national team matches on home soil, so the prospect of earning the right to host this qualification group and taking fixtures of national and international importance to a regional centre eager to invest in Australian football is something we are thrilled with,” Johnson said.
The FFA CEO understands the difficulties the current COVID-19 pandemic presents.
“We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation nationally and internationally,” he added.
“With these games to be held in 2021, it was important that we submitted our bid for the qualifiers now in accordance to the timelines set by the AFC. The submission has taken place in the hope and expectation that the situation will have improved by April next year.
“We will put the health and wellbeing of the prospective host community, players, officials, and fans first should we be successful in earning the right to host the qualifiers.”
The AFC will award the hosting rights for the first-round qualification fixtures in the coming months.