Football Australia Reveals Host Cities for AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026™ Bid

Football Australia is excited to announce New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia as the proposed host states for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026™.

This confirmation of candidate host states highlights Australia’s status as the sole bidder for the event, backed by a recommendation from the AFC Women’s Football Committee in March. The final award of hosting rights is expected to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee during May.

Following the remarkable success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™, this bid aims to sustain and enhance the economic and social impacts of major women’s football events. The tournament is projected to generate up to $260 million in economic output and create over 1,000 jobs.

James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, discussed the broader implications of staging the tournament, stating, “Hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026™ offers a golden opportunity to continue the dynamic growth and popularity of women’s football in Australia. Last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™ laid a robust foundation, and we are eager to build upon this legacy to further enhance our football landscape both nationally and regionally.”

Johnson also highlighted the importance of government support, emphasising, “The backing from all levels of government is crucial as we tackle the surge in participation and the urgent need for improved facilities. This support is essential to maintain the momentum and ensure the continuous development of the sport across the country.”

“The Federal Government’s ‘Play Our Way’ Grants programs is a welcomed initiative to address the community facilities gap. This type of ongoing support is essential to maintain the continuous development of the sport across the country.”

Matildas celebrating their goal versus Denmark - Tiffany Williams

The success of Australian national teams, including the Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas, has led to a nationwide increase in football participation, with an overall 12% increase in 2023 and an impressive 20% increase already noted in 2024. Football Australia is leveraging the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ as a platform to further boost participation and develop the sport, aligning with upcoming international events like the Brisbane 2032 Olympics & Paralympics.

The selection process for the candidate host states involved thorough discussions with state governments, ensuring that they are well-prepared to support the successful delivery of the tournament. Johnson added, “We are also engaging with the governments of states and territories that were not selected to be put forward as proposals, to explore future opportunities and ensure that the benefits of football’s growth are shared nationwide.”

As the date for the final ratification from the AFC approaches, Football Australia is committed to working with all partners and the community to ensure that the tournament not only meets but exceeds expectations, building upon the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ and delivering stronger outcomes for women’s football in Australia and the region. The tournament dates in 2026 will be further discussed and confirmed with the AFC in due course.

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