Friday 14 July 2023, 14:00

Secretary General inspects facilities in three cities

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has completed venue inspections in Australia ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™. The Secretary General completed the last leg of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 stadiums and training sites visits this week alongside a record attendance as Australia defeated 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts France 1-0 in Melbourne/Naarm. The 50,629 attendance surpassed the previous record crowd for an Australian home women's international when 36,109 watched the Matildas meet four-time world champions USA two years ago at Stadium Australia, venue for next month’s Final on 20 August.

The previous day in Sydney/Wangal featured an inspection of the world-class facilities at the International Broadcast Centre at Sydney Olympic Park across from Stadium Australia. Earlier in the week, the Secretary General looked over Brisbane Stadium where improvements have been made since her last visit to Brisbane/Meaanjin. The venue, which will host eight matches including a quarter-final and the third-place match, has undergone significant pitch renovations while the hospitality areas have also been upgraded. Among the matches at the venue are Australia’s second group outing against Nigeria where 50 indigenous children from the Northern Territory and Western Australia will attend as confirmed by the Secretary General during her visit to Darwin/Garramilla last weekend.

Smiles and selfies were the order of the day when the Secretary General met a buoyant Morocco team and their supporters at the airport after her visit to Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Debutants Morocco, the first Arabic team to feature at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, have benefitted from a concerted recent focus on improving women’s football with the support of FIFA Forward funds and follows the Secretary General’s visit in 2021. Melbourne/Naarm will host six matches including Australia’s potentially pivotal group match against Canada. The city is also set to be a location for one of the great venues for the FIFA Fan Fest™ with Federation Square - location for iconic scenes during the Socceroos’ Qatar 2022 campaign – confirmed as the location this week.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura in Melbourne.