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New format to decide Asia’s Women’s Olympic qualifiers

Matildas

The battle for the final two spots to join hosts and reigning Asian champions Japan, at the Women’s Football Tournament at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be decided in a new and innovative qualifying tournament.

The Continent’s remaining women’s sides will learn their fate in the Asian Qualifiers Final Round Draw at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The revamped qualifying format for the 2020 edition will see the eight remaining teams divided into two groups, with the top two sides advancing to the two-legged play-offs to decide the final two Asian qualifiers.

This will give the Continent’s elite teams the opportunity to play their most significant matches in front of their home fans.

After two qualifying rounds of captivating action, the initial cast of 18 was whittled down to three with Myanmar, Vietnam and Chinese Taipei joining Australia, China PR, DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Thailand who reached the final round automatically as the highest ranked teams during the first round of qualifiers.

Following the outcome of the latest FIFA Ranking released on September 27, 2019, the Continent’s top-ranked sides Australia and DPR Korea will be placed in Pot 1, joint hosts for the final round, China PR and Korea Republic are in Pot 2, followed by Vietnam and Thailand in Pot 3 and Chinese Taipei and Myanmar confirming their places in the final pot.

The Asian Qualifiers Final Round will take place from February 3 to 9, 2020 with the two-legged play-off scheduled to take place on March 6 and 11, 2020.

Football at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will commence with the women’s matches on July 22 – two days before the Games’ official opening ceremony – with the men’s competition to begin on July 23. The 12-team women’s tournament will conclude on August 7, with the men’s tournament to conclude the following day.

Asian teams have established a long and proud tradition at the Olympic Games, with China PR (1996) and Japan (2012) winning silver in the women’s tournament, while Japan (1968) and Korea Republic (2012) clinched the bronze medals in the men’s competition.

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Football Australia signs expanded partnership with rebel

Football Australia has announced a multi-year expanded partnership with rebel - Australia's largest sports retailer.

Football Australia has announced a multi-year expanded partnership with rebel, as Australia’s largest sports retailer has signed on to be the official sponsor of Football Australia and the Westfield Matildas through to 2024.

The partnership will support the growth of the women’s game and grassroots football across the nation. The news comes as the Westfield Matildas are currently in Europe preparing for international friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands this month.

The partnership matches the core business of rebel, who want to encourage Australians to live a healthy and active lifestyle doing the sports they love. Football Australia’s mission is to achieve gender parity in participation by 2027.

With Football Australia and rebel sharing similar values, they will focus on initiatives that inspire more females to play sport, as Football Australia aims to secure over 400,000 new female participants over the next six years.

The ‘Sport is Calling’ platform will be used by rebel to motivate women and girls to unlock health and social benefits of pulling on football boots for the first time – this inspires ambitious players to reach their potential by promoting Westfield Matildas’ training regimes.

The partnership links to Football Australia’s MiniRoos program, which will also include a content strategy to bring football fans and rebel customers closer to the action. There will be exclusive, money-can’t-buy opportunities on offer for rebel active members.

rebel General Manager Customer & Marketing, Jennifer Gulliver:

“rebel is passionate about supporting women’s sport and women’s football and to sponsor Australia’s most loved team in the Westfield Matildas is something the whole organisation is behind.”

“We can’t wait to inspire the next generation of girls over coming years, and perhaps help a few realise their dreams of becoming a Westfield Matilda in the future.”

rebel Managing Director, Gary Williams:

“In just two days’ time the Westfield Matildas will return to international action for the first time since March 2020, which will provide inspiration to thousands of girls and boys across Australia’s football family who are preparing to play the game at community and grassroots levels throughout 2021. This unique timing only adds to our excitement to continue our support of football in Australia.”

“With our ‘Sport is Calling’ mantra, rebel is committed to growing sports participation across the country, and this partnership with Football Australia will unlock exciting opportunities and offers for rebel’s football fans through an array of online, in-store, and in-stadia experiences.”

Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson:

“We are delighted to have secured another corporate partner for Football Australia that believes in our long-term vision for the sport, including the enormous potential that exists in the women’s and community spaces.”

“rebel has been a long-term partner of football in Australia, and as Australia’s largest sports retailer, is well positioned to help football deliver positive outcomes across the country. As the national governing body, Football Australia looks to work with organisations that will proactively help us supercharge football’s growth.”

Tasmanian Liberals commit to $10 million facility investment

A majority Gutwein Liberal Government has promised to invest $10 million towards facility upgrades across four locations.

A majority Gutwein Liberal Government has promised to invest $10 million towards facility upgrades across four locations, promoting increased participation for community sport.

There are over 38,000 Tasmanians participating in football, so facility upgrades are vital for continual growth for the game. Despite Tasmania missing out on holding games for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, the facilities investment would benefit the state’s push to host base camps for international sides coming to Australia.

The following facilities will be part of the investment to reaffirm Tasmania’s commitment to football:

Valley Road, Devonport – The home of Devonport Strikers with 170 registered players will see new funding go towards a new building, additional pitch, new changerooms and lighting.

Birch Avenue, Launceston – The home of Launceston United with 633 registered players is one of the largest clubs in Tasmania. New funding will assist with improved drainage, safety fencing & new and enhanced lighting.

Churchill Park, Launceston – The home of the Northern Tasmanian Junior Soccer Association has 1878 registered players and hosts the annual Launceston Tournament – drawing 1000 junior players to the facility. Funding will deliver new lighting, new changeroom and clubrooms.

Lightwood Park, Kingborough – The home of Kingborough Lions and 552 registered players is the largest club in southern Tasmania. Additional funding will welcome new changerooms and clubrooms.

“Today’s announcement is a huge win for Tasmanian football,” Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley said.

“We’re extremely grateful to Premier Gutwein and Minister for Sport Jane Howlett for their continued support of the World Game in Tasmania.

“By recognising the magnitude of this opportunity, they have made sure tens of thousands of Tasmanians will benefit from the legacy of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, despite Launceston missing out on hosting tournament matches.

“Football is Tasmania’s most played team sport, and we are proud to lead the nation as the state with the highest proportion of female players in Australia at 28 per cent.

“We know that whenever a Women’s World Cup is played, participation spikes the following year – with the 2023 World Cup being held in Australia we’re expecting this increase to be through the roof, particularly among women and girls.

“In addition to positioning Tasmania to welcome the world’s best players for training, the upgrades to Churchill Park, Birch Avenue, Valley Road and Lightwood Park will also ensure football has the necessary infrastructure to accommodate more growth, and make sure the World Game is Tasmania’s game for many years to come.”

Tasmanians will head to the polls on May 1 for the state election, where a majority Liberal Government will be able to begin the upgrades process.

Host cities and stadiums for FIFA Women’s World Cup revealed

Details for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 have been confirmed, with nine host cities and 10 stadiums set to host matches for the tournament.

Details for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 have been confirmed, with nine host cities and 10 stadiums set to host matches for the tournament.

Australia and New Zealand will welcome the world’s best female players in just over two years’ time, which will prove to be an exciting opportunity for both nations – being the first co-hosted FIFA Women’s World Cup and the inaugural tournament to feature 32 teams.

The announcement of the following host cities and stadiums has seen six representatives from Australia and four from New Zealand:

  • Adelaide – Hindmarsh Stadium
  • Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau – Eden Park
  • Brisbane – Brisbane Stadium
  • Dunedin / Ōtepoti – Dunedin Stadium
  • Hamilton / Kirikiriroa – Waikato Stadium
  • Melbourne – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
  • Perth – Perth Rectangular Stadium
  • Sydney – Stadium Australia and Sydney Football Stadium
  • Wellington /  Te Whanganui-a-Tara  – Wellington Stadium

While the exact fixtures are still to be determined, we do know that Eden Park in Auckland has been selected for the opening FIFA Women’s World Cup match, with Stadium Australia in Sydney the destination for the Final.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou was proud to see the latest progress leading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“This is an important day for the sport because now the hard work goes to the next level – it’s a watershed moment,” he said.

“The Women’s World Cup is a tournament like no other – not since the Sydney Olympics with the attention of the world.

“[We’ve seen] an increase in gross domestic product of $320 billion, over one million spectators & audience, 400,000 more women & girls playing our sport – as we work with our member federations on equality of participation by 2027.

“[There’s also] 6,000 upskilled people, 3,000 new jobs and 16,000 Indigenous community contacts internationally.”

Westfield Matilda and Melbourne City W-League player Jenna McCormick also shared her excitement for the landmark tournament.

“To have [the Women’s World Cup] in Melbourne as the sporting capital of Australia is really awesome,” she said.

“I know with this unique sporting opportunity that the whole city will certainly get around the event and I’m really excited to see the response from the community.

“[I’m looking forward to] having family, friends and the football world come out and support us in what will be a once in a lifetime tournament here in Australia and New Zealand.”

Today’s announcement also drew elation from member federations Football NSW and Football Queensland, as the two states will be key components for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge:

“The Football NSW community welcomes FIFA’s announcement that Sydney has been selected as one of the cities that will host 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches. We are ecstatic that Stadium Australia will host the final.

“Female football is the fastest growing area of our sport, and today’s announcement will undoubtedly turbo charge further growth and boost the popularity of the sport.”

Football Queensland President James Richardson:

“It is fantastic news for our entire football community that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 is coming to Queensland.

“This is the biggest women’s sporting in the world. In the Women and Girls Strategy released last month, we highlighted the tournament’s potential to deliver immense benefits for all Queenslanders, particularly women and girls.”

The host cities and stadium selection was finalised after a rigorous eight-month process conducted by FIFA, together with the two host associations. It involved a series of virtual workshops and an assessment of infrastructure and facilities.

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