Australia is hosting the Women's World Cup next year. But are we ready for it?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has just wrapped up this week, and while our beloved Socceroos didn’t win the tournament, our success in Qatar has given us much to learn from ahead of the Women’s World Cup – which will take place in our own backyard next July. 

In just 209 days, the very best female footballers from across the globe will flock to Australian and New Zealand shores – bringing thousands of fans with them for what promises to be the single biggest sporting event held in Australia since the Sydney 2000 Olympics. By all accounts, it will be an event for the history books – particularly for women.

But unlike the men’s World Cup, the Women’s World Cup – and women’s sport more broadly – continues to struggle to get the support, funding and attention it deserves, despite the incredible pool of talent we are blessed with in Australia right now. 

Our female athletes not only get paid less, play shorter seasons and often have to work additional jobs just to get by, but also have to battle the fact that the (false) perception that women’s sport being inferior to the men’s continues to be a problem among Australian sports fans. 

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According to the 2017 Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport, women’s sport receives just eight per cent of sponsorship, and just seven per cent of broadcast coverage in Australia – and while representation continues to grow every year, we are far from equal. But with the Women’s World Cup in our own backyard we have a chance now, more than ever, to truly rally around our female footballers and change the narrative once and for all. 

And with just six months between the final of the men’s World Cup and the first game of the women’s, we have the perfect opportunity to learn from what we did right – and wrong – with the Socceroos to give the Matildas, and Australian football, the greatest chance of success in 2023.

We need to support local.

When you think of the Matildas, Sam Kerr is obviously the name that springs to mind. And while we’re blessed to have many of our girls like Hayley Raso, Mary Fowler and Steph Catley playing alongside Kerr in the prestigious Women’s Super League over in England, a number of them are still playing every weekend in Australia – and those teams desperately need our support.

Alex Chidiac, Chloe Logarzo, Emma Checker and Remy Seimsen are just some of the names fighting for a place in our final World Cup squad come July 2023 – and if you head down to the local Liberty A-League any given weekend, you’ll see why. We are truly blessed when it comes to the calibre of female footballers in this country. 

After their success abroad, A-League Mens players like Craig Goodwin (Adelaide), Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City) and Garang Kuol (Central Coast) have finally received the love and attention they deserve in our domestic leagues as the world-class players they are, and the women deserve the same support. 


But instead of waiting for them to win the hearts of the world before our own, we have the chance to rally around them now. Not to mention, you’ll win huge bragging rights among your friends when they’re scoring goals in a World Cup next year but you totally loved them before it was cool. 

We need fan sites, and we need to sort them out early.

If you haven’t already secured your tickets to the Matildas games, I hate to be the one to tell you that they’re already mostly sold out. And while there will be a final, limited release of tickets in April – and there is some talk of moving matches to bigger stadiums – the supply will not meet the demand. Unfortunately, this means there will be thousands of football fans who will need somewhere to watch the games. 

Throughout the men’s tournament, we saw thousands of Australians flock to Federation Square, Darling Harbour and many other live sites across the country to share the highs and lows of our football dream together. It was through these public viewings that we saw the true beauty of football in Australia. 


But the organising of many of these sites was left until the eleventh hour, with some only being thrown together after fans publicly petitioned for them. 

The Matildas will take to the world’s stage just six months later, we know the interest is there, we know the crowds will be there, and we must make sure these live sites are organised and in abundance well before the tournament kicks off. The onus shouldn’t be on supporter groups to have to beg for it.

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We need to have faith. 

Before the Socceroos landed in Doha in November, very few people had any real faith in their ability. Heck, we very nearly didn’t even qualify. But in a few short weeks, we progressed out of the group stages – something we had only done once before – and even managed to give eventual champions Argentina a run for their money. 


And while we eventually came home without a trophy in hand, the Socceroos instilled a sense of hope and excitement in Australian football fans that had not been seen since 2006.

Across the country, thousands of fans shared cheers of joy and tears of heartbreak throughout the highs and lows of our campaign. Not because we ever thought we could win the tournament, to the contrary: we managed to do what nobody thought was possible. 

But the real beauty of the Women’s World Cup is that Australia actually has a far greater chance of success this time around. The Matilda’s are by no means the favourite to win the competition (that’s reigning champions, the USA), but if the Socceroos have taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible. 

So while many football fans didn’t want to get their hopes up throughout the men’s competition in fear of being disappointed when we were eventually eliminated, I am encouraging you to do the opposite. It is time to let the hope be the thing that kills you. 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off across Australia and New Zealand on July 20 2023. The final phase of tickets go on sale on April 11 exclusively on the FIFA website.

Feature Image: Getty.