Anthony Albanese’s cryptic plea after Matilda’s plea to commit more money to women’s sport
Anthony Albanese has urged fans to ‘watch this space’ amid calls for the Prime Minister to put his money where it is and commit money to women’s sport.
Mr Albanese made no promises when asked but said an announcement following the Matildas’ incredible run in the World Cup was on the way.
“You will see announcements when the time is right,” he told Sky News on Friday.
“We have been thinking about sports infrastructure issues for a long time. Unfortunately, the previous government funded clubs that didn’t even have women’s teams. It was a debacle,” Mr. Albanese said.
The Matildas and coach Tony Gustavsson have been outspoken in their plea for the federal government to increase funding for women’s soccer
Anthony Albanese told fans to watch this space. Photo: Said Khan / AFP
After the team’s crushing 3-1 semi-final loss to England, captain Sam Kerr said she hoped the team’s success would be a catalyst for change.
“I can only speak for the Matildas (but), you know, we need funding in our development, we need funding in our base. We need funding, you know, we need funding everywhere,’ Kerr said after the game.
Both Mr Albanese and Sports Minister Anika Wells championed the Matildas’ success as the team progressed through the tournament, attending several games and leading the chorus of tributes to football stars online.
Mr Albanese went so far as to call for a national public holiday if the team had won the World Cup final.
Some fans weren’t too happy about Mr Albanese joining the Matildas bandwagon and took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to urge it to fund women’s football.
In a statement, a spokesperson said the government was considering “other means” to ensure the funding was “fit for purpose”.
“We are committed to helping girls inspired by the FIFA World Cup, Netball World Cup, Women’s Basketball and Rugby World Cups have safer facilities to enjoy sport all their lives. life,” they said.
“We want more opportunities for more Matildas. This tournament has been amazing and has proven that women’s sport is not a phase, it’s here to stay.
Sam Kerr called for more funding after Wednesday night’s loss. Photo: Franck Fife / AFP
“We’ve spent a lot of money on women’s football, committing over $84 million to support the Women’s World Cup and its legacy.
“We’ve committed $44 million to hosting the tournament and an additional $40 million for grassroots programs like MiniRoos and the first-ever women’s soccer home.”
The team captured the hearts of the nation, breaking television records, selling out stadiums and filling live fan sites across the country.
Earlier in the week, the Coalition built on the momentum of the Matildas to pledge $250 million in grants for community sports infrastructure, such as locker rooms, if they return to power.
On Friday, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton called on the Albanian government to honor this commitment.
The Prime Minister dismissed it when asked and questioned the Coalition’s commitment to women’s sport.
‘(He) did nothing for 10 years. He sat on a cabinet that offered women’s sports programs to clubs that didn’t have women’s teams,” Mr Albanese said.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles pointed out that a significant sum has already been spent in the run-up to the World Cup.