Heather Garriock slams the ACT Government's withdrawal from Australia's 2023 Women's World Cup bid

Heather Garriock is disappointed in the ACT Government's withdrawal from FFA's Women's World Cup bid. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
Heather Garriock is disappointed in the ACT Government's withdrawal from FFA's Women's World Cup bid. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

The ACT government's decision to snub the women's World Cup is set to open the door to attract more regular Matildas and Socceroos content to the capital in the coming years.

Canberra will not be one of the host cities should the FFA be successful in its bid for the 2023 World Cup after the government decided to spend its money differently.

It's understood the government was considering a proposal to host up to six World Cup matches at Canberra Stadium.

Two stumbling blocks emerged in negotiations with the FFA. The first was the cost, believed to be in the millions.

More than 18,000 fans watched the Socceroos play Nepal at Canberra Stadium last month. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

More than 18,000 fans watched the Socceroos play Nepal at Canberra Stadium last month. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The second was scheduling. Canberra Stadium is the only rectangular venue in the city and the Raiders would need to play during the five-week World Cup window.

World Cup venues can only be used for World Cup matches or training during the tournament period.

The FFA has been working with the NRL and Super Rugby to solve scheduling issues. The NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria governments have all thrown their support behind the FFA's bid.

But the ACT government consulted Capital Football about how to best spend the money and it was decided to use the funds for the $24.5 million "home of football" project at Throsby and regular internationals.

The Socceroos played their first game in Canberra since 2015 when they beat Nepal last month and the Matildas are expected to end a seven-year capital absence next year.

Skipping the World Cup, however, will come at a major cost of missing out on worldwide exposure during the tournament, which will run in July and August.

More than 80 million people watched the World Cup final earlier this year and the Matildas have enjoyed a supporter boom in recent seasons, leading to record crowds in Sydney and Adelaide.

Garriock, who played 130 internationals and now coaches Canberra United, was shocked by the government's decision.

"Why wouldn't you support the 2023 World Cup bid? I can't be more disappointed," Garriock said.

"I read [the story] in the paper this morning at the coffee shop and I guess it shows disrespect in my opinion.

"I'm hugely disappointed in Canberra to not support it for whatever the reason is. If it clashes with the Canberra Raiders and the Brumbies, that's even more disappointing because you can critique it.

"It would be amazing to have the World Cup in Australia and if something like that was a stopper for the capital not to support it would be hugely disappointing."

This story 'Disrespectful': Garriock slams Canberra World Cup bid snub first appeared on The Canberra Times.