Friday 11 February 2022, 11:30

Inaugural Women’s Football Legacy Cup held in Australia

  • Australia football stakeholders come together for football tournament

  • Event is part of Football Australia’s Legacy ’23 plan for the FIFA Women's World Cup

  • Australia are aiming for 50/50 gender participation by 2027

Representatives from Canberra United, Capital Football, the Federal Government and media came together at Senate Oval in Canberra for Football Australia’s inaugural Women’s Football Legacy Cup. The event was hosted in celebration of Legacy ’23, Football Australia’s game plan to realise enduring outcomes for Australian football beyond the co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.

Legacy '23 Football Tournament group photo, taken at the Senate Oval in Canberra

Sarah Walsh, Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion said “the legacy we leave will go beyond the pitch, including 50/50 gender participation by 2027, increased female representation in key roles and more inclusive facilities for our community." Senators and Members of Parliament were in attendance, together with retired and current A-League Women’s players Ashleigh Sykes, Allira Toby, Chelsee Washington, Ally Haran and Grace Gill. Canberra Times journalist Isobel Cootes flew the flag for the media.

Sykes was a member of Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 squad, and spoke to the importance of the tournament in driving participation for women and girls. "I remember the incredible experience of being a nine-year-old girl getting to attend the Sydney Olympics and the effect of hosting that major sporting event here on what I wanted to do 'when I grew up'” she said. “I hope this tournament, the biggest women's sporting event in the world, leaves a legacy across Australia in a similar way. That it encourages greater accessibility, empowers strong leaders and more progressive pathways for women. “It's almost a dream come true, to get to play a major tournament like this with home fans and your friends and family in the stands. It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best teams and players in the world to Australia, and our beautiful country to the world in turn."

Allyson Flynn in action during the Canada v Germany Semi Final at the 2016 Olympics

Former Asian Football Confederation and FIFA Women’s World Cup Assistant Referee, Allyson Flynn, took on the all-important role of referee, proudly representing the growing number of Australian female match officials who are integral to the growth and development of our game. Flynn participated in two FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2011 and 2015, spoke about the importance of the legacy of the tournament going beyond the pitch in building capacity for increased female representation in key roles including leadership, coaching and refereeing. ”I think it’s a great opportunity for positive change. It’s a real opportunity to grow football everywhere in all aspects of the game. I want everyone to see that football is a game for all, from the grassroots level through to the elite,” Flynn said. The Women’s Football Legacy Cup is set to become an annual event, ensuring awareness raising of Legacy ‘23 is continued. Legacy ‘23 is an ambitious plan to deliver positive and enduring benefits for Australia’s largest community sport, beyond 2023. Learn more about FIFA's Women’s Development Programmes.