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Football Federation Australia launches pre World Cup women’s tournament
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has teamed up with the NSW Government, Brisbane City Council and the Victorian Government to present a four-nation tournament ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Named the ‘Cup of Nations’ the tournament will comprise of three double-header matchdays across three states, cities, and stadia, over seven days from 28th February to 6th March 2019.
The tournament will be contested by the Matildas along with fellow FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 qualifiers Argentina, Korea Republic and New Zealand.
The six-match tournament will kick-off at Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on Thursday 28th February with Argentina playing Korea Republic followed by the Westfield Matildas against New Zealand. The New Zealand match will take on extra significance as 2019 marks 40 years since the Westfield Matildas played their first ‘A’ international, which was against the Football Ferns, at Sutherland in 1979. The fixture will enable FFA to honour and celebrate the anniversary of the match at a venue close to where the historic fixture was held.
Three days later, the Cup of Nations will shift to Brisbane as Argentina and New Zealand go head to head at Suncorp Stadium, before the Westfield Matildas take on Korea Republic in their second match of the tournament. This will mark the first fixture played by the Westfield Matildas in Brisbane since 2014.
Melbourne’s AAMI Park will play host to the third and final match day of the Cup of Nations on Wednesday 6th March where Korea Republic will take on New Zealand, and Australia will meet Argentina in the last game of the competition.
FFA Chief Executive David Gallop is delighted that there will be three opportunities for the Australian public to bid the team farewell ahead of the commencement of their Women’s World Cup campaign.
Gallop advised “we’ve been working towards hosting a four-nation tournament in Australia for some time and it’s great to finally unveil what we plan on becoming a regular feature of the Australian sporting calendar “We’ve seen the success of other competitions such as the Tournament of Nations in the USA and they’ve helped inspire and inform the creation of the Cup of Nations.
“The opportunity to honour the 40th anniversary of the Matildas’ first ‘A’ international fixture will make the New Zealand match in Sydney a special occasion for the first generation of Matildas who made the sacrifices and laid the foundations for success the team enjoys today.
Looking forward to the tournament, NSW Minister for Tourism and Events, Adam Marshall stated “the Cup of Nations is part of the NSW Government’s five-year partnership with Football Federation Australia that is expected to inject more than $20 million into the State’s visitor economy.
“We’re proud to host the first of the matches on NSW soil and encourage people from far and wide to make the trip to Kogarah to cheer on our Matildas in what will be an action-packed showcase of women’s football right here in Sydney.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk added “the Cup of Nations would be a spectacular addition to Brisbane’s 2019 calendar of sport. I look forward to welcoming the Westfield Matildas and teams from New Zealand, Argentina and Korea Republic to Brisbane in March 2019 for what will be a thrilling double header at Suncorp Stadium.
“Major and significant events are worth more than $150 million annually to Brisbane and support our hotels, restaurants, cafes and service providers.”
Australia will compete in Group C at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup alongside Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, while New Zealand will contest Group E alongside Canada, Cameroon, and Netherlands. Meanwhile, Korea Republic will play in Group A alongside France, Norway, and Nigeria, while Argentina will face England, Scotland, and Japan in Group D.
Images: Melbourne's AAMI Park will host Matchday Three of the tournament on Wednesday 6th March 2019 (top) and David Gallop (below).
14th December 2018 - FFA approves A-League expansion bids from Western Melbourne and South-West Sydney
20th November 2018 - Chris Nikou elected as FFA’s new chairman
28th August 2018 - FFA promotes former Matilda to participation management role
6th February 2018 - Federal Government provides $4 million for FFA’s Womens World Cup bid
13th December 2017 - Westfield Matildas and Sam Kerr top AIS Sport Performance Awards
28th June 2017 - Australia slammed in FIFA report on World Cup bidding
1st February 2016 - Channel Seven to broadcast Matildas Olympic qualifiers
4th August 2009 - Young Matildas Pelted with Bottles in Wuhan
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