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Fourth FIFA World Cup 2022 venue launched

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar has become the fourth tournament venue for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be inaugurated.

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar has become the fourth tournament venue for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be inaugurated.

The stadium hosted the Amir Cup Final on Qatar National Day on Friday, in front of a small socially distanced crowd.

Seven matches will be played at the venue during the World Cup – The match and inauguration took place exactly two years before the scheduled final of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

The 40,000-capacity venue sits alongside Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City as the venues that have been being declared ready to host FIFA World Cup matches.

“The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium is a wonderful football stadium,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who attended the inauguration of the stadium.

“The atmosphere is incredible, with the seats extremely close to the pitch. Even with a physically distanced crowd, I could feel the passion of the fans. I am sure this will be a perfect football arena in 2022 when it hosts matches during the World Cup.”

“I would like to congratulate Qatar and HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the completion of this venue.”

“The country is very well prepared for the next FIFA World Cup and on track to host a memorable instalment of the tournament – the first in the Middle East and the Arab world.”

The match was attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar – some major names in world football also made an appearance with AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin attending the match.

“Tonight was an immensely proud occasion for Qatar and the people of Al Rayyan,” Chief Executive Officer of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, Nasser Al Khater, said.

“It was also another opportunity to test our readiness for Qatar 2022, with thousands of fans enjoying the spectacle, despite the challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic.”

“We look forward to developing the Qatar 2022 fan experience further next year when we host more major tournaments, including the FIFA Club World Cup and FIFA Arab Cup – events that are sure to excite football lovers in Qatar, across the region and around the world.”

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Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football Coaching Life Podcast Recap: Episode One with Ange Postecoglou

Football Coaches Australia released the first episode of their new podcast “The Football Coaching Life” last week, with Ange Postecoglou as their opening guest on the show.

In a wide-ranging chat with former Socceroo Gary Cole, Postecoglou detailed his extensive coaching journey in the hour-long podcast.

Postecoglou touched on his current time in Japan, the coaches he was exposed to when he was younger including Ferenc Puskas and Frank Arok, the role his father played in influencing his coaching, how his coaching has changed over his career, what exactly coaching is and why he does it, as well as much more.

Key Quotes in Episode One

On his relationship and influence of his father

“Football was a connection to my dad. It was the only thing that allowed me to get close to my father.”

“I would try and put out teams that he would enjoy watching.”

On his analytical nature after watching South Melbourne games as a youngster

“I’d be sitting around and listening to these old men dissecting every part of the game, I didn’t want to go outside and have a kick…I would just sit there and listen…I was always thinking about every aspect of the game even when I was younger.”

On his opportunity to coach the South Melbourne senior side after Frank Arok was sacked with two games left in the season

“I was the assistant and they said look we want you to take over for the last two games… I took the phone call at the bank and I literally put the phone down and quit the bank job and said (to myself) this is not going to be for two games. I was determined that this was my chance…25 years later I’m not back at the bank mate.”

Advice for up-and-coming coaches

“For every young coach, your number one task should not be to be successful, your number one task should be to have a career. How can you stay in the game, how can you stay in the job for 20-25 years?”

“No one is perfect.”

When quizzed on what has changed in his coaching throughout his journey

“My beliefs haven’t changed.”

“Those beliefs I have, have stood both the test of time and the different circumstances I have been in.” (Points to his success at an NSL, A-League, J-League and international level)

Final piece of wisdom for coaches

“Find the core of why you want to coach, you’ve got to find out why you want to coach. What is it at the core of why you want to do this? Because as we’ve already said, it’s not going to be a happy carefree existence.”

 

Football Australia recognise Female Football Week achievements

Football Australia are celebrating the achievements and contributions of women and girls in football as part of Female Football Week 2021.

Football Australia are celebrating the achievements and contributions of women and girls in football as part of Female Football Week 2021.

From March 1 to March 8, Football Australia are publishing a variety of digital content highlighting the important role of females in all levels of the sport. In addition, a range of educational factsheets and panels will be shared to assist the growth and development of female coaches, referees, administrators, volunteers and clubs.

Football Australia’s Female Football Week 2021 concludes on International Women’s Day on Monday March 8, following the release of Football Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Legacy ‘23 plan at Parliament House in Canberra last week. It aims to deliver immediate and long-term community benefits and economic impact from Australia’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – the biggest sporting event on Australian soil since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

“Female Football Week 2021 is as important as ever given the stated and sharp focus that Football Australia has on women’s football and the development of women and girls in football,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.

“Many of our initiatives throughout the coming week are aligned with key measures in our XI Principles for the future of Australian football and support our efforts to demonstrate to stakeholders the importance of creating a more supportive and inclusive environment for women and girls in football in Australia.

“Football Australia is targeting continued growth and 50:50 gender balance in participation by 2027. We believe Female Football Week provides the game with the platform to accelerate growth and achieve that target by recognising the important role women, together with men, play in delivering women’s football, and by showcasing that football is an inclusive and welcoming sport for women and girls from all communities, ages and abilities.”

Female Football Week 2021 content will be accessible on Football Australia’s digital and social channels.

“Over the next week the Female Football Week campaign aims to provide the community with the platform to celebrate the achievements of players, coaches, administrators and officials,” Sarah Walsh said, Football Australia’s Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion.

“Excitingly, Female Football Week 2021 will conclude with three online panels to celebrate International Women’s Day and Female Football Week 2021.”

The panels are hosted by Stephanie Brantz, focusing on leadership and development in the modern era. They feature international and domestic executives, coaches and match officials.

The executive panel will feature Sarai Bareman, Chief of Women’s Football at FIFA, Karina LeBlanc, Head of Women’s Football at CONCACAF, Amanda Vandervort, Chief Women’s Football Officer at FIFPRO, and James Johnson and Sarah Walsh from Football Australia.

The coaching panel will feature Emma Hayes, Head Coach of Chelsea FC Women, Tony Gustavsson, Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas, and Mel Andreatta, Assistant Coach of the Westfield Matildas.

And the match officials panel currently features Kari Seitz, FIFA Head of Refereeing – Women, Kate Jacewicz, FIFA & Football Australia Referee, and Esfandiar Baharmast, former FIFA Referee and FIFA Referee Instructor.

“As an organisation that aspires to think local but act global, we’re thrilled that we can produce content with, and access insights from, change agents at the highest levels of football to share with Australia’s passionate football community. This is an important part of our mission for Australia to become the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region,” Walsh said.

Sports Flick acquire Austrian Bundesliga TV rights deal

Australian sports streaming service Sports Flick has secured an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast Austria’s Tipico Bundesliga in Australia.

Australian sports streaming service Sports Flick has secured an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast Austria’s Tipico Bundesliga in Australia.

The Sydney-based streaming service will start broadcasting the Austrian Bundesliga this weekend – a multi-year agreement allows for one marquee match to be shown per round for the three remaining rounds of the 2020/21 season.

Austrian Bundesliga’s Championship Round and the 2021/22 season are also incorporated in the rights deal, which was brokered with the official global media rights distribution partner for the league, Sportradar.

“Sports Flick has a goal to become the number one location for football in Australia,” Sports Flick General Manager Michael Turner said.

“With football being Australia’s number one grassroots participation sport, fans are craving more football content from across the world. One of our goals is to give fans the chance to watch different competitions and engage with the world’s game.”

Sports Flick said that the Austrian Tipico Bundesliga rights deal was their first major acquisition in European Football.

“Our Austrian Tipico Bundesliga coverage provides Australians a unique opportunity to watch more European Football and watch some of the up-and-coming football stars playing in the Austrian top flight,” Sports Flick CEO Dylan Azzopardi said.

In the coming weeks, Sports Flick are expected to make further announcements regarding rights deals.

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sports Flick had secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the UEFA Champions League in Australia – for around $60 million over three years.

Optus Sport currently holds the rights to the UEFA Champions League on a three-year deal that expires after the 2020/21 season.

The Austrian Bundesliga broadcast deal follows Sports Flick announcement last Thursday, of an exclusive TV rights deal to broadcast South Korea’s K-League 1.

Under a multi-year agreement, the rights deal saw Sports Flick start broadcasting K-League matches from February 27.

The K-League TV rights deal was also brokered with Sportradar.

Alongside the Austrian Bundesliga and K-League, the streaming service also has the rights to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga Primera (Nicaraguan football top division) and the Arabian Gulf League.

 

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