Major Government Investment In Women’s Asian Cup

Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, Minister for the Public Service

The Albanese government has made another major commitment to women’s sport and the Matildas, contributing to the shared cost of hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup on home soil in 2026.

The government’s $15 million investment will help ensure the tournament is a success and build upon the Matildas sport changing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup performance while increasing opportunities for women’s football in Australia and across our region.

The 2026 competition hosted in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia is expected to generate more than $200 million for the local economy.

More than 24,000 international visitors will flock to Australia for the first event and games will be broadcast to a global audience of hundreds of millions.

It will bring Asia’s best footballers to Australia and give us another chance to celebrate the Matildas on home soil.

Last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup was an unprecedented success with a lasting impact on not just women’s football, but Australian sport.

The Matildas have continued that momentum qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics, moving to 12th in the world and selling out a record 14 straight home games, entrenching their position as our country’s most popular national team.

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is the oldest women’s international football competition in the world.

The 2026 event will serve as the final Asian qualifying tournament for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Brazil.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong:

“Hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will be another opportunity to bring the world to Australia, bring Australians together, and showcase Australian excellence and inspire the next generation of athletes.

“This competition will put Australia at the heart of sport in our region and our investment is another example of the Albanese government’s commitment to make Australia even stronger and more influential through sport.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women, Katy Gallagher:

“The Albanese Government is proud to be supporting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Australia with a $15 million funding boost.

“When we invest in women’s football we’re investing in more than a game, we are also inspiring future generations of sports stars.

“During the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup the Matildas ignited the dreams of young players across the country and with the Tillies leading the way, the future of women’s football in Australia is bright.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, Anika Wells:

“The Tillies and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup redefined Australian sport and now the Albanese government is backing the Matildas again with a $15 million investment for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

“Our Asian Cup funding builds on the $200 million Play Our Way program to improve women and girls sporting facilities, it builds on our investment for the Netball World Cup in 2027 and Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029.

“Women’s sport is not a nice to have, it is not a phase, it is brilliant, nation-stopping theatre and it’s here to stay.”

Quotes attributable to Football Australia CEO, James Johnson:

“We convey our sincere appreciation for the Federal Government’s substantial investment today which now ensures Football Australia is well positioned to continue this tradition.

“With the competition poised to commemorate its 50th anniversary next year, it’s our ambition to elevate the experience of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup to a level that celebrates women’s football in our region, and further ignites dreams of the next generation of footballers throughout our confederation.

“Hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup will strengthen our ability to establish a lasting impact for people from all backgrounds in Australia and across Asia.”

/Public Release. View in full here.