Football Australia and the Australian Federal Government have today announced that Australia has been confirmed as the host of the men’s and women’s 2023 IFCPF Asia-Oceania Championships (Para Asian Cup) following a decision made by the International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football.
It will be the first time ever a women’s Para Asian Cup competition will be contested and will also mark the first time the men’s and women’s Para Asian Cup will be held at the same time.
In the most exciting year in the history of Australian football, the newly constructed and world-class Home of the Matildas at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Victoria will play host to Asia-Pacific’s best para footballers from 31 October – 12 November 2023.
Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, stated that Australia was enthusiastic and prepared to deliver a game-changing tournament for Asia-Pacific’s para footballers.
“Football Australia is thrilled and honoured to have won the hosting rights for this historic tournament in 2023. We have a team within our organisation that is committed to para football and know we can deliver a tournament that demonstrates our passion, respect and drive towards ensuring footballers of all abilities can proudly represent Australia and the Asia-Pacific region,” Johnson said.
“To host a historic first-ever women’s Para Asian Cup will follow our co-hosting of a historic FIFA Women’s World CupTM and part of our strategic vision through Legacy ’23 to transform how women and girls in Australia see the full potential available to them through football.”
“This will be a tournament delivered at a scale to elevate para football and provide current and new fans with another memorable and empowering experience while growing access to the game for players of all abilities.”
The CommBank Pararoos (men’s) and CommBank ParaMatildas (women’s) are Australia’s national teams for footballers with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms of stroke. The two teams represent 4.4 million Australians living with disability.
CP is the most common disability in childhood, football is the most popular sport in the country with this tournament providing an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of the ability of para footballers to create a new generation of Australian sporting heroes.
The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Federal Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services stated this is an exciting time for people with disability who aspire to play sport and want to be part of an activity that brings people together and fosters inclusion.
“It takes the whole of society to open doors for people with disability and that is what the Pararoos and ParaMatildas do – help foster talented sports people to representative level,” Minister Shorten said.
“Cerebral palsy affects at least 34,000 people in Australia and more than 17 million people worldwide. There are also many other Australians who have acquired brain injuries.
“I acknowledge the advocacy of this unique and strong community which, like the NDIS, seeks to make a real difference by supporting independence and choice.
“The International Federation of Cerebral Palsy Football Asian Oceania Championship will showcase Australia as an exemplar of sporting prowess and inclusion. I congratulate everyone involved.”