The Junior Matildas could be playing their AFC U/17 Championship qualification matches on home soil after FFA announced their joint-bid with Cessnock City Council.
The bid is for Cessnock - in NSW's Hunter region - to host the 2021 U/17 Women's qualification fixtures, to allow the Junior Matildas a better chance of qualifying on home soil.
The qualifiers will be played in April next year.
“We are delighted to be working with the proactive Cessnock City Council to submit a bid to host elite Asian women’s football qualifiers in Australia in 2021,” FFA CEO James Johnson said.
“On the back of the recent announcement that Australia, together with New Zealand, will co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, this is precisely the type of content we need to bring to our shores. This type of activity will help ensure FFA can fulfil its mission to become the centre of women’s football in Asia-Pacific and continue to grow interest and participation in the women’s game.
“It is also a priority for FFA to host more national team matches on home soil, so the prospect of earning the right to host this qualification group and taking fixtures of national and international importance to a regional centre eager to invest in Australian football is something we are thrilled with.
“We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation nationally and internationally,” Johnson added. “With these games to be held in 2021, it was important that we submitted our bid for the qualifiers now in accordance to the timelines set by the AFC. The submission has taken place in the hope and expectation that the situation will have improved by April next year.
“We will put the health and wellbeing of the prospective host community, players, officials, and fans first should we be successful in earning the right to host the qualifiers.”