Government provides $4m for World Cup bid
The wheels are in motion for Australia's 2023 Women's World Cup bid after the federal government confirmed it will provide the extra $4 million it pledged.
Satisfied the country has a genuine shot of hosting the showpiece tournament, the government announced in Canberra on Tuesday it will top up last year's initial $1 million offering for development and feasibility assessment.
Federal Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie said a home World Cup would showcase the country's "world-class female footballers ... world-class venues and a world-class experience for participants and spectators around the world".
Football Federation Australia can now set about formalising its bid to give the Matildas a chance of playing against the world's best on home soil.
But, with the memories of Australia's disastrous 2022 World Cup bid still fresh, the pressure is on to prepare a transparent proposal.
The governing body said it had sought answers from FIFA about how this process would be free of the corruption that infiltrated every aspect of the flawed 2022 campaign, when Australia's tainted $46 million bid gained just one vote.
Based on those enquiries, FFA said it had been given sufficient assurances FIFA would conduct a fair and transparent process.
For its own part, FFA has vowed to undertake all its own advocacy work and spend no money on foreign consultants.
To win hosting rights would be a big coup following the Matildas' whirlwind success of 2017, the rise of Sam Kerr and an improved collective bargaining agreement for the W-League.
FFA chief executive David Gallop said the sporting, lifestyle and economic benefits could not be underestimated.
"I think it's fair to say that the Westfield Matildas have become Australia's favourite team over the past year and they are inspiring girls and boys around the country to take up football, which is already the biggest participation sport in Australia," Gallop said.
"We believe that hosting the world's biggest women's sporting event, the FIFA Women's World Cup, would bring enormous benefits to the Australian community."
He said the funding would be used to support the appointment of a bid team responsible for the delivery of the final submission to FIFA.
Bid working groups had been established in all states and territories to work through the scope of the bid and tournament requirements. FIFA has been contacted for comment.