After Football Federation Australia officially announced its intention to bid for the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, FFT CEO Mike Palmer has confirmed that FFT will seek to have Tasmania involved in the bid.
“We certainly won’t be backwards in talking to FFA about it. We would love to be part of the Women’s World Cup and it would be fantastic for Football in Tasmania if we were.”
Palmer suggested the benefits would not just flow on to footballers in the State.
“The Women’s World Cup is a fantastic event to be part of and it could really help showcase Tasmania to the world. There is a large T.V audience that would be tuning in so the exposure would be significant for the State. “
More than 750 million television viewers watched the 2015 version of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, staged in Canada with the Final Match between USA and Japan the most watched football match, for both men’s and women’s football in US TV history.
Whilst acknowledging a lack of a rectangular stadium would be a stumbling block, Palmer said it wouldn’t necessarily be prohibitive.
“Without the rectangular stadium it’s tougher but Rugby World Cup games were played down here previously. So long as we had full government and community support and it was very much a united approach it would be a chance. We would need full commitment from everybody and if we were able to show that to FFA and there was enough money to make it work I think we would hopefully be a real possibility.
FFT’s Women’s Development Officer Holly-Lace Ayton said she was excited by the prospect of Australia bidding for the World Cup.
“It would be massive for the young female players in Tasmania. The chance for them to see the best players in the world live could really give them something to aspire to. It helps to give them role models and that sense of belief that they too could be out there playing in a world cup one day just like their heroes.”
She suggested that given the strength Matildas side, hosting the tournament could really generate support for the Women’s game in Australia.
“The Matildas are currently the eight ranked team in the world and if we hosted the event there is the real chance they could go deep into the tournament. If the whole nation got behind them on their journey it could be a massive driving force to help grow the Women’s game.”