Sydney’s much-anticipated return to hosting international sport has been locked in, with the NSW Government announcing a two-match series between the Matildas and Brazil in October.
The games will be played at Bankwest Stadium, soon to be known as CommBank Stadium, on Saturday, 23 October and Tuesday, 26 October, with a controlled number of fans able to attend in line with the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW roadmap, following NSW Health approval of quarantine arrangements for players, coaches and support staff.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the games have only been made possible due to the vigilance of NSW residents during lockdown.
“It’s been a long winter for fans of live sport in NSW, and I’m excited to announce that thanks to the community’s commitment to achieving our vaccination targets, international sport will return to Sydney in late October,” Mr Barilaro said.
“As COVID restrictions ease, in line with our roadmap, a limited number of fully vaccinated, football-starved fans from Sydney will have the opportunity to see some of the best players in the world right here in NSW.”
Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said this was fantastic news for the major sports capital of Australia.
“We’ve been in hiatus during the COVID outbreak, but this exciting schedule shows that Sydney is back and ready to welcome the return of international sport,” Mrs Ward said.
“There is plenty more to look forward to, with the Sydney Ashes Test match in early January, as well as international one day and T20 cricket, and a full program of BBL and WBBL games and A-League and W-League football.”
Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said it was exciting to welcome the Matildas back to NSW.
“Sydney is Australia’s major event capital and once again we are leading the way out of COVID,” Mr Ayres said.
“Football and Sydney is a match made in heaven. These are exactly the events we need as we open up from lockdown.”
Football Australia CEO James Johnson said bringing our national teams home has been a priority for some time now.
“Football Australia has been working tirelessly behind the scenes with both the Federal and State Governments to bring our national teams home. This is a huge win for Australian football,” Mr Johnson said.
The international football matches will be played under strict COVID-safe arrangements, in line with the roadmap.
The Brazilian team will be required to quarantine under strict NSW Health protocols, with strong measures in place to protect the strength of the quarantine environment and the broader NSW community.
Tickets for the games will go on sale shortly with spectator capacity to be determined in line with Public Health Orders.
The NSW Government will consider future proposed international football games at a later date.