FA announces host states for Women’s Asian Cup

    The Matildas’ route to potential Asian Cup success is a step closer to being finalised after Football Australia revealed the host states for matches at the 2026 edition of the tournament.

    FA confirmed on Monday that NSW, Queensland and Western Australia had been nominated as the preferred locations for the continental competition.

    Twelve teams across three groups will take part in the tournament, which was last won by China in 2022.

    After being the only AFC member to enter an official bid, Australia was in March recommended as host – following on from the success of last year’s Women’s World Cup.

    FA said expressions of interest for potential venues began prior to the start of the World Cup, with all states and territories invited to make their pitch.

    Victoria is the most notable absentee from the list of nominated states, having also missed out on hosting games beyond the quarter-finals of the World Cup due to the AFL season.

    Next month’s A-League All Stars games will be hosted in Victoria, though, while the Matildas and Socceroos have played several matches in Melbourne in recent years.

    “Hosting the Women’s Asian Cup offers a golden opportunity to continue the dynamic growth and popularity of women’s football in Australia,” FA chief executive James Johnson said.

    “Last year’s Women’s World Cup laid a robust foundation, and we are eager to build upon this legacy to further enhance our football landscape both nationally and regionally.

    “The backing from all levels of government is crucial as we tackle the surge in participation and the urgent need for improved facilities.

    “This support is essential to maintain the momentum and ensure the continuous development of the sport across the country.”

    The choice of NSW, Queensland and WA bodes well for the Matildas, who last won the Asian Cup in 2010 and have recent happy memories in all three states.

    Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium was the site of Australia’s nail-biting quarter-final penalty shootout win over France at last year’s World Cup, while Tony Gustavsson’s side enjoyed a charmed run during Olympic qualification in Perth earlier this year.

    Sydney’s Accor Stadium hosted the Matildas’ record home crowd of 75,784, for their World Cup opener against Ireland.

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