The government has pledged $15 million to host the Women’s Asian Cup in Australia

Listen to Australian and world news and follow trending topics with
In 2023, the Matildas took over our screens, conversations and our hearts.
Now the federal government wants to repeat the hype created during the Women’s World Cup.
Sports Minister Anika Wells says this will be done through a $15 million investment in Australia’s hosting of the Women’s Asian Cup.
“The Albanian Government will provide $15 million to enable Australia to host the Asian Women’s Cup in 2026 and provide more opportunities for all Australians to support our Matildas on home soil. Last year the World Cup delivered a 92 percent increase in visibility. Women’s sport has reduced healthcare costs by $324 million, and had a combined economic impact of $1.3 billion, but we need to capitalize on it now, World Cup was a start and we must continue.”
It follows a $200 million government aid package announced for women’s sports.
Commitments have been made for women’s equipment, facilities and a review of broadcasting rules to ensure major events are free to watch.
Two hundred million dollars will also be invested through the Play Our Way program to improve sports facilities and equipment specifically for women and girls.
Football Australia Chief Executive James Johnson says this $15 million will go towards tournament start-up costs.
“The sport is growing by every metric, our participation is up 20 per cent across the country, we have more income from the sport which means we can reinvest in the teams. “We have invested more in the Socceroos and Matildas have been included in our national team program more than ever in the last four years and I think we are seeing the benefits of that on the pitch because we are seeing great results on the pitch.”
The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is one of the oldest international women’s competitions in the world.
In 2026, its 50th anniversary will be celebrated by bringing twelve countries together in Australia.
It will be the second time Australia has hosted the competition, with matches taking place in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Although Matildas player Lydia Williams wants to end her career on a high before hanging up her international boots in Paris, she says it is clear that women’s football has grown rapidly in recent years.
“A home World Cup, a home Asia Cup is something I had dreamed of a long time ago. I am very excited to see where football in the country is going. To put ourselves on the map as one of the top players.” “I definitely think the Asian Cup is something we are excited about, the prospects of winning on home soil are something extra.”
The tournament is predicted to inject $250 million into local economies, attract 24,000 international visitors to Australia, create more than 1,000 jobs and secure a global television audience of hundreds of millions.
But it is thought the biggest benefit will be for future generations, such as young Matildas player Sasha Grove.

“It’s really a testament to their hard work because so many athletes have taken the sport to the next level, and so I’m very lucky because I’m a young player. I’m really reaping the rewards that players before me have worked so hard for It’s really a testament to their hard work.” It’s certainly great to see something as brilliant as an Asian Home Cup in the future and it’s something to aim for in the future.”