Football Australia today welcomed the release of ‘AusPlay Focus: Australians’ participation and involvement in summer Olympic and Paralympic sports’ by Sport Australia.
The report – released last week and accessible here – highlights Australia’s passion for Olympic sports and identifies football as one of the top Olympic sports for boys, girls, men, and women.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said the report made for positive reading for football, and is timely given Australia will be represented by both the Matildas and Olyroos at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The ‘AusPlay Focus: Australians’ participation and involvement in summer Olympic and Paralympic sports’ report identifies that four-in-five Australians are proud of athletes representing the nation at global events such as the Olympics, Paralympics, and Commonwealth Games,” Johnson said. “This is an important fact for football, given for the first time since Athens 2004 we will have both our men’s and women’s teams competing on the Olympic stage in Tokyo.”
“Football was identified in the report as second in the top Olympic sports for boys, and third in the top Olympic sports for girls, so the 36 footballers that are selected to represent Australia via the Matildas and the Olyroos will play an important role in inspiring both current and future generations of Australian football participants and fans.”
Every six months Sport Australia release the latest results from their national AusPlay survey on the Clearinghouse for Sport website.
AusPlay is a large-scale, national population tracking survey funded and led by Sport Australia that is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind ever conducted in Australia. AusPlay is also the single source of participation data currency for the Federal Government.
In its latest report, football emerged as the most-played Olympic team sport and was highlighted as a sport with strong levels of volunteerism among Australians.
“The 1.85 million football participants and 515,000 football volunteers identified by the AusPlay data set demonstrates the strength, diversity, and passion of our football community,” Johnson added.
“With the Matildas and Olyroos bound for Tokyo, the Socceroos resuming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualification matches over the next two months in Kuwait, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ set to arrive on our shores in just two-years’ time, and the unique and uniting FFA Cup Final Rounds set to kick-off in August, football is well-placed to continue connecting and inspiring Australians.
“We are also buoyed by the fact that 63 per cent of Australian football participants identify fun and enjoyment as a top motivation to engage with our sport. All ages and abilities are embraced by football – from MiniRoos, to our inspiring Pararoos, Socceroos, Matildas, and Olyroos, Futsal, Walking Football, and more, football is a sport for all.”
Australians following Australia’s football teams at Tokyo 2020 will witness the Olyroos contest Group C of the men’s football tournament alongside Egypt, Spain, and Argentina, and the Matildas competing in Group G alongside Sweden, United States of America, and New Zealand.
The Olyroos’ Group Stage campaign will take them to the Japanese cities of Sapporo and Rifu, while the Matildas will play their pool matches in Tokyo, Saitama, and Kashima. All games will kick-off in family-friendly slots for Australian time zones.
Football Australia is currently finalising its pre-Tokyo 2020 plans for both teams in close cooperation and communication with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
Men’s Football Tournament – Tokyo 2020
Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia
Australia Match Dates/Locations: July 22 v Argentina (Sapporo Dome, Sapporo – 8:30pm AEST), July 25 v Spain (Sapporo Dome, Sapporo – 8:30pm AEST), July 28 v Egypt (Miyagi Stadium, Rifu – 9:00pm AEST)
Women’s Football Tournament – Tokyo 2020
Group G: Sweden, United States of America, Australia, New Zealand
Australia Match Dates/Locations: July 21 v New Zealand (Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo – 9:30pm AEST), July 24 v Sweden (Saitama Stadium, Saitama – 6:30pm AEST), July 27 v United States of America (Kashima Stadium, Kashima – 6:00pm AEST)