Women’s Sport 2 min read

Albanese Government Announces $15 Million Investment In AFC Women’s Asian Cup

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The Albanese government has announced a $15 million contribution to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Set to be held in Australia in 2026, this financial support hopes to ensure a successful tournament while further advancing women’s football in the region in the footsteps of the impressive performance by the Australian national team, the Matildas, during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Scheduled to take place across Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia—the tournament is anticipated to inject over $200 million into the local economy and draw more than 24,000 international visitors. Additionally, the matches are set to captivate a global audience, shining an even brighter spotlight on women’s football.

Beyond showcasing the finest football talent from Asia, the event presents another opportunity for the Matildas to dazzle on home turf. Following their triumphant display at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup and their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Matildas have climbed to 12th place in the global rankings and have consecutively sold out 14 home games, solidifying their status as Australia’s premier national team.

Recognised as the oldest international women’s football competition globally, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 will double up as the final Asian qualifier for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Brazil.

Australian Ministers have voiced unwavering support for this venture. Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has stressed that hosting the tournament is a chance to bring Australians together and display the nation’s excellence on the world stage. Similarly, Minister for Women Katy Gallagher has underscored the government’s commitment to propelling women’s football forward as an investment in the future of sports and the empowerment of the next generation of athletes. Minister for Sport Anika Wells has pointed out that this funding is part and parcel of a broader dedication to women’s sports, inclusive of substantial investments in sporting infrastructure and other international women’s sports competitions.

Expressing gratitude for the government’s backing, Football Australia CEO James Johnson has highlighted how this support positions Football Australia strongly to enrich the Asian Cup experience as it marks its 50th anniversary next year, and to ignite the aspirations of future generations across the region.

This investment is another indication of the Australian Government’s strategic harnessing of major sports events to propel economic growth, foster social cohesion, and reinforce Australia as a pivotal sports hub in the APAC region.

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