Westfield Matildas' Thailand clash a World Cup audition for Perth: Stajcic
Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic believes Australia’s upcoming friendly with Thailand is an opportunity for Perth to prove its worth as a FIFA World Cup host city.
FFA, with the support of the Australian Government, is moving to the final stages of a bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Australian Government confirmed that it would provide funding of $4 million for the formal phase of bidding following an initial $1 million provided in June last year to initiate a first phase of bid development and feasibility assessment.
And with Perth announced as the venue for the Matildas’ Asian Cup farewell match on March 26, Stajcic urged WA to make the most of the opportunity.
“This is a bit of an audition for us for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. So hopefully we can win that bid and Perth can put its best foot forward as a host city for that,” Stajcic told a media conference on Wednesday.
“It’ll be a fantastic event. I think it’ll be one that can transcend sport and football in this country and hopefully we can put on as good a show as we have in our recent times with all our major events.
“Hopefully we can get a full stadium, 20,000 plus [fans] and I think that’ll be the best way Perth and Western Australia can show that it wants to be a host city in five-years’ time.”
Australia, currently fourth in the world, travel to Portugal for the Algarve Cup in March before heading to Jordan for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in April.
Stajcic admitted winning the Asian Cup was the team’s ultimate goal and said the clash with Thailand would serve as the ideal preparation for the tournament.
“For us it’s an important match in terms of preparation for the Asian Cup,” Stajcic said.
“It’s a massive tournament for us, one we want to win. We go in as favourites but certainly we know it’s a tough job taking on the best teams in Asia, which are probably the world’s superpowers in women’s football.
“A big tournament for us and certainly this game is a great lead in for us before we travel over to Jordan.”