Daniel Andrews cops backlash over World Cup comment about Matildas

Weekend Today host Sophie Walsh was among those to put the Victorian leader in his place after the comment on social media.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' social media post about the Matildas did not go down well with many Australians. Pic: Getty
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' social media post about the Matildas did not go down well with many Australians. Pic: Getty

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been called out over a social media post about the Matildas, in the wake of Monday night's stirring World Cup win over Denmark. The Aussies' clinical round of 16 victory over the Danes became the highest-rating TV program of 2023, out-rating popular men's sporting events including State of Origin Game I and last year's AFL grand final.

Mr Andrews was clearly keen to get onboard the Matildas bandwagon and show his support for a sporting team that has captured the nation's attention in extraordinary fashion. However, the Victorian Premier's choice of words on social media went down like a lead balloon, with Weekend Today host Sophie Walsh among those to take the state leader to task.

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Mr Andrews shared a photo from a packed Federation Square in Melbourne on Monday night, where thousands of fans cheered on the Matildas like millions more around the country. “If you ever hear someone say that nobody wants to watch women’s sport, show them this”, the Victorian Premier captioned the photo on his social media account.

The comment went down like a lead balloon, with users taking exception to the Premier's need to reference an outdated and misogynistic stereotype about women's sport. Today Show host Walsh echoed the sentiments of many Australians after sharing the Premier's post with a scathing reply of her own.

Daniel Andrews cops backlash over Matildas comment

“Most people haven’t been saying that for years Premier, but thanks for the reminder,” Walsh wrote in reponse. "It’s just you we don’t want to watch," another user replied to the premier's post. A separate reply read: “I think I’ve seen more posts saying ‘and they say nobody wants to watch women’s sport’ than I’ve seen actual posts from anyone saying nobody wants to watch women’s sport. Let’s just celebrate it without baiting bad faith commentary from those that would say it."

One user even had a crack at Mr Andrews over the cancellation of the Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria, saying: "Wouldn't mind watching the Commonwealth Games either, rather than paying $2B to cancel them!" Many were just thrilled to see the Matildas get the recognition and support they deserve as one of the country's most beloved sporting teams.

“It’s great to see women in all sports finally getting the recognition and respect the deserve... I love soccer but am enjoying watching the Matildas so much! Hope they win,” one comment read. Another person replied: “This was simply a sensational turnout of people to watch their team.

"I’ve loved the response of people to the Matildas. The families, the excited children, the Aboriginal people and the many migrant groups. It was heartwarming and tear-jerking. Loved it. Go Matildas."

Aussies face France in quarter-final showdown

Matildas fever is set to ramp up even more on Saturday when the World Cup hosts square off against European heavyweights France in Brisbane for a spot in the semi-finals. France booked their spot in the quarter-final courtesy of a thumping 4-0 win over Morocco on Tuesday night and the World No.5 will surely offer the toughest challenge yet for Australia.

Seen here, Sam Kerr trains with Matildas squad members in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Sam Kerr had no strapping on her troublesome calf during a Matildas training session in Brisbane on Wednesday. Pic: Getty

The fitness of Matildas captain Sam Kerr and whether she will start the last-eight showdown is likely to dominate discussions in the lead-up to the France match. In a promising sign at Matildas training on Wednesday, the superstar striker did not have any strapping on her troublesome calf and was seen stretching and warming up in her boots.

Kerr was among a handful of players training at Australia's Brisbane base on Wednesday, with the squad split into two. Those who started in the win over Denmark trained at a seperate venue. Kerr reportedly showed no signs of discomfort as the 29-year-old and other squad members who played limited minutes or no game time against Denmark, were put through their paces.

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