Canberra, Jan 31 (IANS) Australia’s opening game at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been moved to a larger venue amid unprecedented demand for tickets.
FIFA on Tuesday announced that the Matildas’ match against Ireland on July 20 has been moved from the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) to Stadium Australia, reports Xinhua news agency.
As the tournament’s largest venue, Stadium Australia can hold up to about 83,000 spectators – nearly double the capacity of the recently-rebuilt SFS.
A capacity crowd would set the attendance record for a stand-alone Women’s World Cup match and smash the Matildas’ home crowd record of 36,109.
FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said the decision would enable more than 100,000 fans to attend the first matchday of the World Cup, with co-hosts New Zealand opening the tournament at Auckland’s Eden Park against Norway earlier in the same evening.
Tickets that were previously purchased for the Matildas’ opener will remain valid, with additional on-sale windows set for February 24 and April 11.