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Football, Meat Pies, Roos and the Women’s World Cup

By Alasdair McClintock on August 5, 2020 in Sport

Right on the kisser. Photo: Alex Perry

Finally, some good news! In case you missed it, Australia and New Zealand have won the right to host the next Women’s Football World Cup in 2023. It’s still a while off, but I think we can all agree it’s nice to have something to look forward to.
In Stephen Bradburyesque scenes, Japan and Brazil pulled out last minute and it came down to us and Colombia. No offense to all the wonderful Colombians out there, but I think even they’ll admit we were always going to win that.
Like Bradbury, a whole lot of hard work went into even getting in that position though, so to imply that it was merely a case of good luck is unfair. People seem to forget that Bradbury had to work his butt off to even make the Olympics, let alone the final of his event. He didn’t have people falling over in every race! And nor did the team putting together Australia’s bid just scribble out a phone number on a cocktail napkin in a Swiss bar and say with a slur and a wink, “Hey, if you’re looking for somewhere to hold your event, we’ve got a pretty nice place for you.”
But this is not an article supporting Stephen Bradbury – he lost that right when he immersed himself in a pyramid scheme – and nor is it an investigative piece on what goes on in Swiss bars (I expect that might be quite dull); this is a celebration of what should be an amazing event for Australia. Hot off the success of the Women’s T20 World Cup (albeit three years later), we have another huge event to get excited about and encourage young women into sport.
Cricket though, is cricket. It’s a worldly game, but it’s not the world game. With the Women’s Football World Cup, we get the full bubbling stew of what the world has to offer, because everybody plays football. The variety of nationalities and energy they will bring will resurrect shades of Sydney 2000 and bring the country together in a celebration it so desperately needs.
‘The beautiful game’ has been pretty ugly of late; racism, exorbitant transfer fees and corruption are the first things that come to mind when someone mentions it. In Australia, it has long failed to live up to its world status. Whether that’s due to mismanagement or arrogance, or both, is hard to say. Yet, despite all this, the growth of the women’s game has remained a shining light.
There is something so eminently positive about having the Women’s World Cup being played in Australia and New Zealand that I sense it is not just the solvent the world game needs right now, but the world in general. It will also be nice to have the world’s eyes on us for something positive again, not for being on fire or for a guy punching out a kangaroo to save his dog.