$15m windfall for Asian Cup in Australia

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Fans are expected to flock to the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Australia. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Australia’s staging of the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup has been boosted by $15m in federal government funding.

The tournament – to be played in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia – has been predicted to inject $250m into local economies, attract 24,000 international visitors to Australia, create more than 1000 jobs and secure a global television audience of hundreds of millions.

“Football has demonstrated that it is not only a wonderful vehicle for social inclusion, cohesion and change, but investing into global football tournaments such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup last year and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 makes economic sense through the significant boost into the domestic economy because of the tournament,” Football Australia chief executive officer James Johnson said.

“Australia is a recognised global leader in hosting major international football tournaments as demonstrated by our delivery of the best-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup last year.

“We convey our sincere appreciation for the federal government’s substantial investment which now ensures Football Australia is well positioned to continue this tradition.”

Australia Matildas Press Conference: Adelaide
Football Australia boss James Johnson is grateful for the federal government’s financial support for the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Picture: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Federal Sport Minister Anika Wells said: “The Tillies and the 2023 Women’s World Cup redefined Australian sport and now the Albanese government is backing the Matildas again with a $15m investment for the women’s Asian Cup.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said hosting the women’s Asian Cup would be “another opportunity to bring the world to Australia, bring Australians together, showcase Australian excellence and inspire the next generation of athletes”.