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Western Australia officially declare support for 2023 Women’s World Cup bid

In recent times, the Victorian and South Australian governments have gotten onside with the 2023 Women’s World Cup hosting bid.

The Matildas are one of, if not our most decorated international sides and to say they deserve to host the largest women’s sporting tournament in the world is a severe understatement.

Ever since the bid was initially proposed, there have been strong suggestions that Perth and the state of WA would be integral to the makeup of the tournament.

On Saturday, WA Premier Mark McGowan and the state government officially declared that the state of Western Australia will indeed be a part of the bid to host a Women’s World Cup.

In theory, a Women’s World Cup would 100% work in Australia, despite clashes with the AFL and NRL seasons. With this in mind, matches at the 100,000 capacity MCG seem to be unlikely.

With that in mind, Perth has become a major talking point when it comes to a host city or where a potential final would be held. Now, with the WA government officially on board with the FFA’s proposed bid, that idea has a base.

The sport of soccer has seen a resurgence to a certain degree in recent times. Perth Glory have re-established themselves as an A-League powerhouse and were unlucky not to be crowned champions last season.

But when it comes to soccer in WA, the main talking point is Sam Kerr.

The Matildas captain is one of the poster girls for women’s soccer all across the globe. She recently made international headlines by signing for Chelsea’s women’s team in England. The Blues currently lead the FA Women’s National League, the Premier League equivalent for women.

She has been and continues to be an inspiration for up and coming soccer players in Australia, especially in her home state of Western Australia.

McGowan subsequently spoke about how it’s a potentially fantastic reward for the Matildas, but how beneficial it could be for his state.

“The WA Government is very excited at the prospect of being part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2023,” McGowan said.

“We have also partnered with FFA to secure at least two Socceroos games in Perth, including two guaranteed World Cup qualifiers next year and in 2021.

“The benefits to our State will be significant, in terms of having a major economic impact on and providing a massive increase in exposure to the rest of the world.”

We have previously spoken about the prospect of hosting a Women’s World Cup Down Under in 2023 and how it’s benefits would have no end.

The amount of aspiring female players will skyrocket, with many hoping to emulate the likes of Kerr, Lisa De Vanna, Steph Catley and Chloe Logarzo.

As Premier McGowan outlined, the increase in exposure across the globe would do a world of good. The Matildas are already a highly respected side, currently ranked 8th in the world by FIFA and ahead of international footballing powerhouses like Brazil, Spain and Italy.

The game in Australia would benefit hugely and more fans from around the world would start watching our domestic competitions, both male and female.

Compare this to the way in which Qatar became the number one topic everywhere when it was named the host of the 2022 Men’s World Cup.

When soccer fans think of Qatar, they automatically think to how they are hosting that competition, as well as how they recently stunned the continent of Asia by winning this year’s Asian Cup back in February.

The tournament is still two and a half years away and yet, talk about them and the tournament still continues. Imagine when the tournament actually gets underway.

The bid continues to attract major stakeholders and more and more people are getting #onside with it. It goes to show that women’s sport isn’t just emerging from the shadows, it’s becoming a genuine revolution and now, it’s viewed upon by the majority as just as important as the men’s game.

Let’s hope that the 2023 bid is successful because it would be the sustained interest that soccer in this country needs.

 

Hakeem al-Araibi takes up full-time role at Football Victoria

Hakeem al-Araibi

Football Victoria (FV) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have announced that Hakeem Al-Araibi’s role as FV’s Community and Human Rights Advocate will now be a permanent full-time position.

Al-Araibi was released from a Thailand prison earlier this year, after being detained there for a period of more than 70 days. His story garnered attention in Australia and around the world, with former Socceroos captain Craig Foster leading the charge to bring al-Araibi home.

Read More: How Hakeem Al-Araibi’s triumphant return to Australia demonstrates the beauty of soccer

He was released from the prison in February after a worldwide campaign.

The 25-year-old returned to play for Pascoe Vale FC in March, whilst also representing FV at community football clubs, gala days and various other events in Victoria and around the country.

Al-Araibi received his Australian citizenship after his return to Australia this year.

“I am very proud and happy to be able to work in the Victorian and Australian football communities full-time to share my story. I want people to continue to play football because it’s a very important part of the community and our lives,” Mr al-Araibi said.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos and PFA Chief Executive John Didulica claimed Hakeem’s work inspiring Victoria’s multicultural football communities was extremely successful and that it was important to put him in a full-time position in the FV setup.

“Hakeem’s story shows the true power and positive impact football can have both here and around the world. His strength and resilience make him truly an inspirational person and emerging young leader,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“We are very proud to continue to work with Football Victoria to ensure Hakeem’s ongoing employment. Hakeem’s campaign was a great demonstration of the power of the game united, so to be able to continue to work with Hakeem and our colleagues within the football family at FV is genuinely important and of great benefit to so many young players,” Mr Didulica concluded.

Football Queensland appoint Jacqui Hurford as State Referee Manager

Football Queensland (FQ) have announced the appointment of Jacqui Hurford as the new State Referee Manager.

As part of the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan for football in Queensland, the appointment of Hurford as State Referee Manager is one of the key initiatives already into affect along with others that are set to be launched in the coming months concentrating on improving recruitment, retention and support for referees in the state.

FQ’s General Manager of Operations Murray Bird spoke about how Hurford’s appointment will help shape the future of refereeing, by building on the number of quality referees and coaches across the state.

“I am delighted to welcome Jacqui to the Football Queensland team; she will bring a wealth of knowledge as a former international FIFA referee, and from her current roles as instructor/assessor for FFA and AFC and Westfield W-League Referee Coach,” Bird said.

“Jacqui’s appointment aligns with a focus on bettering the experience for all involved in the game as outlined in FQ’s strategic plan, and will see her take on a community-focused leadership role.

“We intend to double the number of registered referees by 2022, which will require ongoing consultation and collaboration with regional referee coordinators to ensure we recruit and retain officials to serve and enhance the game.

“We also want to increase the number of women and girls officiating across the state, and Jacqui is a great example for women and girls getting into the game.”

Hurford spoke about the role she will play with the challenges and opportunities she’ll take out of it.

“Football Queensland’s commitment to significant reform in the referee space was something that attracted me to this role,” she said.

“There is a shortage of match officials across the state and I understand that addressing this and driving participation and retention of referees will be a key focus of the position.

“FQ will be employing referee coaches for the NPL/FQPL/NPLW in the coming weeks. My role will entail working closely with those appointments to improve officiating standards in the state’s premier leagues.

“I will also be working hard on bridging the gap between the referee community and FQ’s member clubs and zones.

“We all need to work together and referees are an important piece in unifying the game to ensure that Queensland remains a leader in officiating both nationally and internationally.”

Hurford will officially take her position from Thursday the 9th of January 2020.

Source: https://footballqueensland.com.au/2019/11/29/football-queensland-state-referee-manager-appointed/ 

Football Victoria reveal NPL fixture

Football Victoria (FV) have released the 2020 NPL Victoria fixture for the men’s competition.

The season will open with a clash between 2019 finalists Oakleigh Cannons FC and last year’s runner up Avondale FC.

Also round 1 will open with the traditional derby as South Melbourne FC will host 2019 premiers Heidelberg United FC at Lakeside Stadium in a first-round derby.

Eastern Lions SC and St Albans Saints SC are the two sides who have been promoted to the top tier of Victorian football for 2020. They will both start with home encounters in the opening round.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos claimed he was looking forward to the start of next year’s competition with the introduction of two new clubs and several strong NPL clubs hoping to improve on last season.

“The NPL in Victoria is clearly a destination competition in Australia which delivers a very high standard of football week-in week-out,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“The competition’s popularity went to another level last year with all games live-streamed and averaging around 30,000 viewers per round. The triple-header Grand Final event also drew more than 110,000 viewers on that one day alone,” he said.

The first-round fixtures are listed below:

Oakleigh Cannons FC v Avondale FC – Thursday 13th February, 7:45pm at Jack Edwards Reserve

South Melbourne FC v Heidelberg United FC – Friday 14th February, 7:30pm at Lakeside Stadium

Port Melbourne Sharks SC v Melbourne Knights FC – Friday 14th February, 7:45pm at JL Murphy Reserve – SS Anderson Oval

Dandenong Thunder FC v Dandenong City SC – Saturday 15th February, 7:00pm at George Andrews Reserve

Hume City FC v Altona Magic SC – Saturday 15th February, 8:00pm at ABD Stadium Broadmeadows Valley Park

Eastern Lions SC v Bentleigh Greens SC – Sunday 16th February, 3:00pm at Gardiners Creek Reserve

St Albans Saints SC v Green Gully SC – Sunday 16th February, 5:00pm at Churchill Reserve

The U20s fixture for the men was also released alongside the senior draw.

Both of the full draws can be viewed here.

 

 

 

 

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