Glory legend Sam Kerr returned to familiar surroundings on Friday, fronting a sizeable media pack at HBF Park to acclaim Australia and New Zealand’s successful joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
With FIFA announcing the decision overnight, there was a strong celebratory feel in the air as WA Premier Mark McGowan, WA Minister for Tourism Paul Papalia and Football West CEO James Curtis joined Sam to emphasise the key role WA will play in hosting the tournament.
And Glory were well represented too, with club CEO Tony Pignata in attendance along with Westfield W-League squad members and Young Matildas regulars Hana Lowry, Isabella Wallhead, Tijan McKenna and Miranda Templeman.
Here’s what they said:
“I just want to say thank you from the Matildas and myself.
Obviously this is a dream come true to be able to have a Women’s World Cup in our backyard.
So from the Government, to the fans, to all you guys who promoted it, it’s going to be an unbelievable thing for us.
It’s going to grow the game so much.
It’s been a long time coming for us and we couldn’t have done it without the whole of Australia, so we’re really grateful.
We can’t wait to show the world how good we are at sporting events and our beautiful country and hopefully the Matildas get a game here in Perth.
So, if FFA are watching, fingers crossed!
I’m biased – I 100% want to be playing in front of a home crowd!
This [HBF Park] is one of the best stadiums in Australia – it always gets voted one of the best in the A-League and the W-League – but I’m sure there’ll be a lot of States that are vying for the Matildas [games] and I know we’ll get the support wherever we go around Australia.”
“I’m so excited for Australia and for Western Australia that we’ve been successful in winning the rights to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023.
This is a remarkable achievement, a great achievement, it’s wonderful for women’s sport and great for WA and Australia.
I couldn’t be more pleased that Sam Kerr, a famous and well-respected West-Australian has joined us here to day.
I’d like to congratulate all the people involved in bidding from football across Australia who worked so hard on this bid and thank the Federal government for all of their efforts.
And I’d also like to thank the Minister for Tourism, Paul Papalia and the Minister for Sport, Mick Murray, for ensuring that WA was part of the bid and that we put in our support behind it.
That will mean that the games come here to Perth when the event is held.”
“This is going to be the biggest thing that WA has ever hosted.
The Women’s World Cup here in WA is a dream come true not just for Football West and all those who play the game, but for the whole State.
At this time, when we’re just coming out of this terrible crisis around COVID, to have the boost of this positive news for tourism in the State of winning this bid is just exceptional.
It’ll be a fantastic thing to look forward to.
All of our biggest markets for tourism, when they’re open again and people are able to travel, are football fans.
People will come from all over the world to this event and that’s going to boost our visitor numbers and also put us on the world stage for many other visitors in the future.”
“On behalf of Football West and FFA, I’d like to thank the WA Government and Federal Government for their support for the Women’s World Cup 2023 and what a fantastic evening it was to be able to win that bid and have the opportunity to showcase the most talented footballers from across the world here in Perth in a couple of years’ time.
The Women’s World Cup will have over one billion people watching in, so it’s a great opportunity to showcase WA and the football talent that we have to offer.
Really importantly, it will also assist us in hitting our 50-50 gender equity target by 2027.
That’s really important when we think about all the boys and girls that are going to be watching this from around Australia and around the globe and seeing the stars and the opportunities going forward.
The legacy that the Women’s World Cup will leave to the game and the broader community is also really important.
We can’t wait to support Australia as we go forward to 2023.”