Australia has taken a step forward in becoming the host of the 2026 AFC Women's Asian Cup national teams tournament after withdrawals from fellow bidders left them as the only option.

Sportcal understands Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia have dropped out of the running to stage the event and while Australia still must continue to go through the official process with Asian soccer’s governing body the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Congress, the country will likely be awarded the hosting rights by April 2024, subject to funding and host cities being secured.

Australia was one of four countries alongside Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan to submit expressions of interest in hosting the 2026 edition to the AFC.

Football Australia began its bid to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2022, with the governing body for soccer in the country having been in discussion with state and federal governments to secure support over the past 18 months.

Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia’s withdrawals mean that Australia is in line to win hosting rights for a second major international tournament in three years, following last year’s Women’s World Cup.

The news comes on the back of Football Australia releasing its Legacy 23 report, which claimed the World Cup generated an economic impact of AU$1.32 billion ($869 million).

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The report appeals for continued government investment and support to help build on the momentum created by last year’s Women’s World Cup.

James Johnson, chief executive of Football Australia, said: "The FIFA Women’s World Cup was a testament to Australia's capability to host globally significant tournaments. The sporting, economic, and societal benefits which the tournament generated, not just to football, but to other sports as well as broader Australian society are now there for all to see in the post-tournament report.

“To continue this trajectory, we aim to secure the hosting rights for the AFC Asian Cup 2026, which will require government support at all levels. We believe that this will once again be a huge value-generator for Australia and another boost to the ongoing growth of Australian football and more broadly throughout Asia and the Oceania region.

“These successes have seen a dramatic increase in women’s participation in football which is adding more pressure on the need for government investment, at all levels, to close the $2.9 billion gap in facility investment across Australia.

“We are encouraged by the Federal Government's $200 million Play Our Way grant program, which was inspired by the CommBank Matildas at last year’s FIFA Women's World Cup to address the growing facilities gap in our community following strong and continued growth in participation.”

Earlier this month Football Australia announced a new partnership with global food giant Nestle focused on developing grassroots sports participation.

The partnership will be focused on Nestle’s powdered malt drink brand Milo, which will officially partner with Football Australia’s MiniRoos junior soccer program.

Among Football Australia’s other partners, Nestle most prominently joins global sportswear giant NIKE in sponsoring the governing body.

Nike renewed its partnership with Football Australia in November 2023 for another ten years, seeing it through into the next decade.

The agreement sees the brand continue to be the official apparel partner for all Australian national teams, including the men’s Socceroos, women’s Matildas, junior, and youth men's and women's squads, as well as the Pararoos, and ParaMatildas.