‘Groundbreaking’: Huge boost for Aussies

2021-10-14 04:09:39

The Matildas are set to face Brazil in front of more than 20,000 fans later this month after venue capacity at Sydney’s CommBank Stadium was boosted to 75 per cent, putting the Australians on target to break an attendance record.

A day after Socceroos coach Graham Arnold called on the NSW government to unleash the national team’s “12th man” in their own crucial World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia, Football Australia confirmed the massive increase in numbers.

An original allocation of 5000 tickets for the matches on Saturday, October 23 and Tuesday, October 26 have been exhausted, and now a maximum 22,500 fans will be allowed to watch captain Sam Kerr’s team in action.

The Matildas have been embroiled in controversy for the past week after historical allegations of bullying and a “toxic culture” were aired by former star Lisa De Vanna and backed up by other former players.

It has sparked an investigation by Sports Integrity Australia.

The current Matildas collectively voiced their response to the allegations earlier this week. It drew a mixed response.

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Camera IconMore than 20,000 fans will be able to watch Sam Kerr. Adam Head Credit: News Corp Australia

The FA and the players’ union slammed social media trolls on Wednesday for directing “disturbing” and “abhorrent” abuse towards Matildas players.

But the huge increase in tickets available for their homecoming match – after the Matildas stormed into the bronze medal game at the Tokyo Olympics recently – is a welcome boost for the team.

“Today … is another groundbreaking announcement for Australian football following the NSW government’s approval of our submission to host these matches in Sydney within the 14-day mandatory quarantine period,” Football Australia chief executive officer James Johnson said.

“This now means that more NSW-based fans will be able to see their favourite national women’s team … and also paves the way for Sydney to host the Socceroos’ crucial home AFC Asian qualifier.”

The Matildas set their attendance record at the same venue in November 2019 when they beat Chile 2-1 in a friendly in front of 20.029 fans.

The Socceroos are also set to host Saudi Arabia in Sydney next month and could now get the crowd Arnold was after.

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Source by [earlynews24.com]