Matildas’ World Cup opener moved due to overwhelming demand

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Australia could launch their Women’s World Cup campaign in front of more than 80,000 fans after FIFA responded to the huge demand to see Sam Kerr’s Matildas by moving their opening fixture against Republic of Ireland from the Sydney Football Stadium to Stadium Australia.

Together with New Zealand kicking off the Trans-Tasman tournament at Auckland’s Eden Park more than 100,000 people will attend the tournament’s opening day.

“FIFA’s mission is to organise the biggest and best Women’s World Cup in history this year, and fans, those who bring colour, passion, and atmosphere to stadiums will be such an integral part of the tournament’s success,” said FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura.

“With this in mind, we have taken a decision that will enable over 100,000 fans to attend the opening matchday, providing more opportunities for supporters to engage with the FIFA Women’s World Cup as a month of football we will never forget gets underway.”  

Stadium Australia’s 83,500 capacity is almost double that of the Sydney Football Stadium and the switch is a response to the growing demand to see the tie.

If more than 80,000 attend it will be a record attendance for a stand-alone Women’s World Cup match, exceeded only by the 90,185 who watched the 1999 final and third-place play-off double-header at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

It would also be in the top ten attendances for a women’s match anywhere.

The record for any women’s match outside Europe and South America is 70,454, at Brazil’s Maracana for the 2016 Olympics semi-final.

The kick-off time and date of the Australia v Republic of Ireland match remains Thursday, 20 July at 20.00 (AEST). New Zealand host Norway a few hours earlier.

Tickets that had already been purchased for the match remain valid but many more will now be released. Additional tickets will go on sale at midday AEDT Friday, 24 February via 

As planned, on Friday, 3 March the second sales phase will conclude, with the last-minute sales phase commencing on Tuesday, 11 April – 100 days prior to the opening matchday. 

Australia’s group also includes Nigeria, whom they meet at Brisbane’s Lang Park on 27 July, and Olympic champions Canada who they play in Melbourne on 31 July. 

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