Matildas opening game set to move to Accor Stadium


The Matildas were already facing the prospect of a sold-out stadium for their historic World Cup opener, but are looking likely to double that crowd if a directive from above goes through.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, pressure from FIFA is likely to see the opening game moved from Moore Park to Homebush.

With the game still six months away, tickets are sold out on the official ticketing website, as demand for arguably the nation’s biggest sporting event since the 2000 Olympics is through the roof.

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Australia begin their campaign on July 20 against Ireland, before taking on Nigeria in Brisbane a week later, and then Canada in Melbourne on July 31.

But with FIFA wanting as many people in seats as possible, there is a strong appetite to shift the opening game from the 42,500-seater to the Olympic Stadium, which holds 83,500.

If that game were to sell out – and there’s no reason to suspect it wouldn’t – it would become one of the biggest crowds in the history of women’s football.

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While it would fall well short of the 1971 World Cup final between hosts Mexico and Denmark, which filled the Azteca Stadium with 110,000, it would still be an incredible accomplishment.

Barcelona both set and then broke the record for club football in the past year, with their Champions League quarter final and semi final games recording 91,553 and 91,648 spectators, respectively.

“We want every single edition to be bigger, better, and most successful than the last – and it literally is, because it’s still very much a growing product,” FIFA’s head of women’s football, Sarai Bareman, told Wide World of Sports last year.

“In France we had 1.1 million people filling up stadiums and more than a billion viewers around the world, and obviously next year we want to smash all of those.”

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