The Matildas want their FIFA Women’s World Cup opening match against Ireland shifted to Stadium Australia to ensure a bigger crowd.
The July 20 match is scheduled to be played at the Sydney Football Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,000.
However, with reports of FIFA considering moving the match such has been the demand for tickets, the Matildas are hopeful the game will instead be played at Stadium Australia, which can hold 83,500 people.
“We would be in favour of any decision to move the Matildas’ first group stage game against Ireland from the Sydney Football Stadium to the 83,500 capacity Stadium Australia and fill the stadium with green and gold and provide our team with the perfect start to their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign,” a Football Australia spokesman said.
“Our Matildas are deservedly the pride and joy of Australian sport, and it would be befitting and deserving of their standing in the Australian and global landscape to play in front of 80,000-plus fans on such a historic occasion.
“There has been unprecedented demand for tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup and heightened interest in the Matildas, who are now the equal fourth most popular Australian national team.
“Over the course of 2023, we expect them to become the third most popular team in Australia, overtaking the Wallabies and the Kangaroos, with only the Australian men’s cricket ream and the Socceroos ahead in favouritism.”
This year’s Women’s World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, has already generated great interest, with more tickets sold in the first six weeks of their availability than the amount sold in the first six months tickets were on sale for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The Matildas’ World Cup preparations are set to continue in NSW next month, with an expected announcement on Thursday about a four-team Cup of Nations mini-tournament involving Australia and most likely the Czech Republic, Spain and Jamaica.