Lisa De Vanna says World Cup on home soil could do wonders for the game

JUNE 13 2017 – 6:24PM

Matthew Nicoletti

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The FFA’s decision to bid for a Women’s World Cup has one of Australia’s greatest players of all time in Lisa De Vanna wishing she was 10 years younger.

Australia will mount a bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, FFA chairman Steven Lowy announced on Tuesday.

Hot on the heels of a successful Asian Cup in 2015, Australia will fancy their chances to host the world’s biggest women’s tournament.

Canberra has emerged as a potential destination to host games in the tournament that will bring together 24 nations for a total of 52 matches.

Matildas captain De Vanna will be well and truly retired by the time the event rolls around but she says a World Cup on home soil will do wonders for the game in Australia.

“My first reaction was ‘damn I wish I was 10 years younger’, because this is a great opportunity for the young kids coming through,” De Vanna said.

“I just believe it is a big step forward and I am really excited. Now you will have millions of people tuning in, and if you compare it to men’s, you can tell it’s a growing sport.”

The worldwide television audience that witnessed the women grace the pitch in the 2015 World Cup in Canada surpassed an astonishing 764 million viewers.

Over one million fans attended the matches in 2015 to create the electric atmosphere that swirled around the stadiums in “the great white north”.

Canberra is among a host of cities in contention to host games for the tournament should Australia win hosting rights, with Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth also in the mix.

De Vanna has 121 Matildas caps to her name and says playing games all across the country would be a huge boost for the women’s game as it looks to make ground on rival codes.

“Nothing compares to representing your country at a major event like a World Cup so it’s definitely going to enhance participations of the young girls,” De Vanna said.

“I hope that we will get some more investors on board to grow the game because 6 years isn’t a long time.”

“I am hoping that it is shared between everybody I think it is a game that every state should have an opportunity to have an Australian game if possible.”

The Matildas captain has played in the world’s biggest women’s sporting event three times in 2007, 2011 and 2015.

“Every World Cup for me is a dream come true, I have worked so hard to play for my country and to go to a World Cup and an Olympics, you cannot put an emotion to it,” De Vanna said.

“For the girls it’s an opportunity to play it at home and in front of their friends and family – that is just icing on the cake for a lot of them.

“I feel a lot of the girls that are in the team now will get that opportunity.”

The hosts will be decided in 2019 with the deadline for bids ending in late 2018.

 

Source : The Canberra Times

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