Why one state premier’s mindset must be replicated across the board

Peter Malinauskas Labor Government

On Tuesday, before the Matildas took part in the heartbreaking loss to England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, we had already seen the enormous support across all sporting codes.

From record viewing numbers, to cross-code collaboration allowing Melbourne Cricket Ground patrons the chance to watch the Matildas before a Carlton and Melbourne AFL match, this is the momentum that will help shape the future of football in Australia.

Until now, football has been well behind in available funding, despite being an extremely high participated sport in Australia.

One state that has already taken swift action to build on a tournament that has seen the first men’s or women’s Australian side to reach the World Cup semi-finals is the Peter Malinauskas Labor Government in South Australia.

In a sign of what needs to eventuate for the game to grow in Australia, they have committed $28 million to dedicated female sporting facilities.

The Government is set to deliver $18 million for grant programs over the next three years that will improve female sporting facilities and participation.

In addition, $10 million of the money will be quarantined for soccer, as Football South Australia will chip in to match the grants dollar for dollar through funding sources that involve clubs, Football Australia, Local and Federal Government.

From South Australia alone, girl’s and women’s participation is predicted to increase by 33 per cent over the next three years, which is influenced by how well the Matildas performed.

Funding and investment will be of even more importance going forward, as clubs will be inundated with requests to start playing – as evidenced by Adelaide Comets who shared how their inbox started picking up rapid enquiries.

Following the conclusion of the tournament, this is the precise reminder of why investment is key, to compete with nations such as England who have their well-renowned training facility at St. George’s Park.

Ultimately, Football Australia will have their part to play as all states in Australia seek to capitalise on this golden opportunity.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson has now seen the men’s and women’s national teams do exceptionally well – now is the time to act.

“We warmly welcome the South Australian’s funding commitment – an important investment that underlines the need for collaboration between government and sport in order to address football’s urgent grassroots facility needs,” he said via media release.

“Following the feats of the Subway Socceroos at the FIFA Men’s World Cup, Football Australia has enjoyed a 10% rise in national participation.

“With the historic performances of the CommBank Matildas at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we anticipate up to an additional 20% leap.

“However, as we grow, so does the pressing need to bridge our facilities gap – a challenge highlighted by our trajectory, which, if not addressed, will compromise the health of our community, and limit positive life experiences for women and girls.

“Our commitment to gender parity and inclusivity remains unwavering. Yet, we cannot overlook the infrastructure challenges our community clubs grapple with daily.

“This is why the South Australian Government’s funding commitment is pivotal. Together with our government partners, and armed with compelling national facility audit insights, we can make smarter, more impactful investments in community football, ensuring a brighter, more inclusive community for every aspiring footballer.”

We are now in a defining chapter of Australian football. If all state and federal governments and councils can get on the same page, we will be in a far better position than we have seen previously.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Dribl announced as Global Football Technology Partner of CONIFA

Dribl

Dribl, an Australian-based leading provider of football technology solutions, has announced its partnership with CONIFA, the Confederation of Independent Football Associations.

This strategic alliance marks a significant step forward for Dribl, helping CONIFA streamline operations for their global football competitions, promoting efficiency and providing a dynamic platform for community and fan engagement.

Supporting a true grassroots and international partnership

CONIFA, renowned for its dedication to the joy of playing international football, supports representatives of football teams from nations, de-facto nations, regions, minority peoples, and sports isolated territories. This global acting non-profit organisation is committed to enhancing global relations and fostering international understanding through football.

Enhancing the Football Experience for All Dribl’s cutting-edge technology will enable CONIFA to streamline the administration of its global competitions, ensuring efficient and effective management. The partnership will introduce a centralised system that simplifies operations, facilitates better fan engagement through the Dribl app, and ultimately enhances the overall football experience for all participants and fans.

A platform for everyone, everywhere

Dribl CEO Rob Georgievski spoke to the grassroots impact:

“By partnering with CONIFA, we are taking a forward step in truly supporting grassroots football,” he said via media release.

“Our technology is designed to be accessible to everyone, everywhere, ensuring that the joy of football can be shared by all. We are excited to help CONIFA grow and reach more people, providing a seamless and engaging experience for football communities worldwide.”

Commitment to high ethical standards and global unity

CONIFA stands out as the world’s leading organisation for people, nations, and sportingly isolated regions with a commitment to high ethical standards and global unity. This partnership with Dribl aligns perfectly with CONIFA’s mission to contribute to the enhancement of global relations and international understanding through the universal language of football.

Introducing the CONIFA Match Centre

In collaboration with Dribl, CONIFA have introduced their very own Match Centre for the upcoming CONIFA Women World Football Cup 2024 Tournament. This innovative feature will provide fans and participants with real-time updates, comprehensive data, and an engaging user experience, further enriching the connection between the sport and its global audience.

For more information, please visit:

Dribl: https://dribl.com/
CONIFA: https://www.conifa.org/en/

Graduates congratulated after completing FIFA Diploma in Club Management program

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated the 2024 graduates of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management course at FIFA headquarters, which include former Socceroo Tim Cahill and former Manchester City player Fernandinho.

Since its launch in 2021, the FIFA Diploma in Club Management has become a networking platform for senior club executives to share knowledge about the industry insights essential for successful football club management. The 18-month course is comprised of six-course models, each covering important topics and aspects of club management.

The topics which are covered in this course are leadership and management, sporting strategy and youth academies, marketing and communication, club operations and stadium management, governance and legal matters and finance.

Infantino spoke to the attendees of the graduation ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland:

“The course’s aim was to encourage knowledge and best practice exchange to be able to ensure football’s continued growth and health worldwide,” he said in a statement.

“You understand that club football is crucial for the development and the survival of football in all countries of the world.

“That is what we have to foster and what we have to work on, and to do this, you have to be well-equipped and well-prepared, and this is our aim at FIFA: to give you this preparation, to give you this equipment, to open the doors of FIFA here in Zurich and everywhere in the world.

“Our doors are open for you to come and exchange with us, and also to exchange between yourselves.”

The graduates of the second edition of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management started back in September 2022 in New York where they attended lectures given by the likes of FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger and FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Berman and their final project of the course was a strategy plan which was presented before the graduation.

The third edition of the program began in May 2024 and is headed by FIFA Director of Professional Football Ornella DesirĂ©e Bellia. Some of the participants who are involved include former Juventus player Giorgio Chiellini and Como 1907 coach Cesc FĂ bregas alongside club owners, CEO’s and sporting directors.

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