Women’s sport in Australia will get a A$200 million ($128 million) funding boost as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government builds on the momentum created by the national team’s captivating run at the Women’s World Cup.
(Bloomberg) — Women’s sport in Australia will get a A$200 million ($128 million) funding boost as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government builds on the momentum created by the national team’s captivating run at the Women’s World Cup.
The injection of money will improve sporting facilities and equipment specifically for women and girls, and will support initiatives to get females engaged in sport throughout their lives, the government said in a statement Saturday.
Australia, which hosted the tournament alongside New Zealand, went football crazy after the Matildas, as the team is known, enjoyed unprecedented success in the World Cup. The team attracted sell-out crowds, delighted the nation and elevated women’s sport.
The Matildas will play Sweden later Saturday in Brisbane for the third-place playoff, while England will play Spain in final in Sydney on Sunday.
“The Matildas have given us a moment of national inspiration,” Albanese said. “This is about seizing that opportunity for the next generation, investing in community sporting facilities for women and girls around Australia.”
Australia’s funding boost comes after FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Friday sparked a backlash when he said the world’s best female footballers can achieve pay equality — if only they “convince us men” first.
The Australian government also said it will work to ensure important women’s sporting events are increasingly available for all Australians to watch for free. It released a proposal paper to modernize the country’s anti-siphoning rules, which stop big events from being broadcast only on paid and subscription platforms.
“Every Australian deserves the chance to enjoy live and free coverage of these events, no matter where they live or what they earn,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.
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