The Matildas on centre stage
The Matildas take centre stage as they head into the second stage of the Women's World Cup, and show the way for football locally21 June 2015 | FT Editor
Imagine, says the Sydney Morning Herald editorial, if Australia had spent a fraction of the $45 million spent on the quixotic World Cup bid on really boosting girls’ and women’s football from the grassroots up. Indeed.
Unfortunately, there have been few champions of this course ‘inside the tent’ in football officialdom. Those who might be inclined to support it, tend not to argue the case because those who argue generally find themselves no longer inside the tent.
The Rudd Government gave $16 million to FFA in 2008 with an expectation that around $4 million would be spent on women’s football in addition to the Matildas’ and women’s teams share of another $16 million for national teams. It led to the reformation of a national women’s league and a broadcast deal on ABC-TV, and the appointment of a head of women’s football at FFA (which lasted for about 18 months).
According to the ABS, there were almost 119,000 registered women players in 2014 (aged 15 ) and almost 88,000 registered girls playing in 2012 (aged 5-14 years) – a total increase of around 2.5% on the previous ABS counts.
The Matildas have every opportunity, and the deserved confidence, to keep going in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
But whether they do or not, whether your key interest is about the sport domestically or internationally, health outcomes, gender equity, kids and sport or the economics of staging major events – we should all be advocating for improved and more investment in the women’s game.
matildas, world cup bid, women's football