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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Can World Cup Success Spur Further Soccer Investment In Australia?

  • The FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand set a tournament attendance record.
  • Australia's semifinal watch was the most-watched TV program on record in the country.
Fox Soccer/Twitter

Australia narrowly missed out on playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final on home turf, but after breaking all sorts of records on and off the pitch, the Matildas want to see continued investment in soccer Down Under.

Wednesday’s England-Australia semifinal match turned out to be the most-watched TV program on record in Australia, averaging more than 7 million viewers and at one point a nearly 90% share — meaning nine out of every 10 televisions turned on in the country were watching the game. That’s higher than the ratings share in Kansas City for the Chiefs’ win in Super Bowl LVII.

The co-host nation was certainly behind its team throughout the World Cup, and Australia captain Sam Kerr hopes that translates into further money spent on growing soccer in the country. “We need funding everywhere,” Kerr said, pointing to player development and grassroots efforts.

“Hopefully, this tournament kind of changes that because that’s the legacy you leave — not what you do on the pitch,” she added. “The legacy is what you do off the pitch.”

Quite The Finale

On Sunday, England battles Spain at 6 a.m. ET on Fox and Telemundo in the U.S., concluding what has already been the highest-attended Women’s World Cup ever — and its total attendance is approaching 2 million. 

Australia — which drew packed stadiums for every match across the country — will get one more time to shine, playing Sweden in the third-place match on Saturday.

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