Wednesday 20 December 2023, 17:20

Football Australia to build on FIFA Women’s World Cup™ legacy under new Chair, FIFA President says

  • FIFA President talks Football Australia’s future with new Chair Anter Isaac

  • Backs Mr Isaac to “build on the great work” that led to best-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2023

  • Mr Isaac sees Australia as “an outpost of the football family”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said he has “no doubt” that Football Australia will remain on its upward trajectory after meeting its new Chair, Anter Isaac.

Mr Isaac took over from Chris Nikou in early December, 2023, but having worked in Australian football circles for the last 27 years, he has been part of the development of the game in the nation, notably the successful co-hosting along with New Zealand of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ earlier this year.

“It was a real pleasure to meet the new Football Australia Chair Anter Isaac, and I congratulated him on his new role, as well as the experience he has gathered over nearly 30 years in the game will serve him and Football Australia well,” said Mr Infantino after the meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the eve of the FIFA Football Summit 2023.

“I have no doubt he will build on the great work of his predecessor, Chris Nikou, and the momentum behind football in Australia - and women’s football in particular - after they did such a fantastic job in co-hosting the best-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this year.”

Mr Infantino described the tournament, which was staged in Australia and New Zealand between 20 July and 20 August, as “transformational” for how it had changed both women’s football and perceptions of the women’s game.

With nearly two million fans coming to games, and more supporters than ever from all over the world engaging with the tournament, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ established new standards for the beautiful game in the country and beyond.

“The most recent Women’s World Cup was incredible,” said Mr Isaac, who said Football Australia had learned lessons which everyone, notably neighbouring member associations, could benefit from. “I think it surpassed everyone’s expectations, which is really great for us in Australia, because what it did is set a new benchmark, and a new level of expectation that we need to strive for, not only in women’s football, but men’s football as well.

“FIFA can obviously support us in Australia in a number of ways, whether it’s through the expertise and knowledge they have [on the] football side, development, youth development, all the typical things: sports medicine, women’s game development and so forth.

“Also, in terms of governance and the business and the commercial side. But it’s not just about actually FIFA helping us, we also see ourselves as almost like an outpost of the football family – the international football family – so we also want to help FIFA, you know, because we have some nuances, some specific expertise and experience that we can also share.

“So, I think it’s really about how we share knowledge, how we share our resources and so forth so that actually football is ultimately the beneficiary, and the people that play football,” Mr Isaac concluded.