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Memberships at every A-league football club have increased since the Matildas’ success in the World Cup

The A-League, Australia’s premier football competition, is seeing a surge in membership sign-ups ahead of the new women’s season commencing on October 14th.

Feeling inspired by the Matildas‘ groundbreaking performance at the World Cup? You’re certainly not alone! Our history-making Matildas‘ World Cup performance appears to have sparked an unprecedented enthusiasm for women’s soccer in Australia.

This uptick in support has prompted Football Australia to move the upcoming crucial Paris Olympic qualifier against the Philippines to the 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium, ready to accommodate an additional 40,000 excited fans.

But it’s not just the national team garnering support. The upcoming A-League women’s (ALW) season is experiencing a tidal wave of excitement, with an astounding spike in membership sign-ups.

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The ALW is made up of eleven clubs. Brisbane Road, Adelaide United, Canberra United, Central Coast United, Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, Sydney FC, Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Central Coast Mariners will join the women’s league this year, bringing the total number of teams in line with the men’s competitions. And, ahead of the exciting 2023/24 season, five clubs are boasting their highest-ever membership sign-ups, with the others not far behind, poised to surpass last season’s records.

Sydney FC, the proud home of World Cup squad member Cortnee Vine, has seen a 1223 per cent increase in sign-ups. Sydney FC CEO Adam Santo can hardly contain his excitement for the next „momentous“ season.

“This is a historic moment for football in this country, and I’m excited to see people are rushing out to buy their Sydney FC Memberships,” a delighted Santo says.

For less than $11 per fixture, Sydney FC’s Memberships include access to matchdays, including doubleheaders, unique events, insider access, and discounts. But the excitement does not end there; Brisbane Roar, home to the brilliant Tameka Yallop from the Matildas squad, is also experiencing a 1571 per cent spike in membership.

New Roar COO Zac Anderson highlighted the „unbelievable response“ on the club’s website, announcing that „we are now well over 1,000 A-League Women’s memberships.“

Stadiums will also be filled with unprecedented crowds for Newcastle Jets (98 per cent increase), Melbourne Victory (75 per cent increase), and Canberra United (24 per cent increase). Because actual membership statistics have yet to be completed, these are expressed as a percentage of the previous season’s values.

A-league commissioner Nick Garcia welcomed the league’s „fantastic“ growth trend, saying he is „excited to see this momentum continue“ in the coming season. Garcia also pointed to a „rising interest among the next generation of fans,“ with over 17,000 children signing up for a free season pass since the World Cup.

With the Liberty A-League Pass, children under 16 can attend every Liberty A-League match, on any day, at any location, in Australia during the 2023/24 Liberty A-League Women home and away season!

Mark your calendars on October 14, when the ALW season begins off with a bang, setting the stage for the men’s season debut the following weekend.

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Spanish football player Jenni Hermoso has been cut from the national squad following the World Cup kiss scandal

After a wave of resignations following a non-consensual kiss between former Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales and star player Jenni Hermoso, the new coach of the national squad has cut Hermoso from the team, in an attempt ‚to protect her‘. 

Spanish star Jenni Hermoso has been cut from the Spanish national squad as a result of the World Cup kiss scandal.

New coach Montse Tome made her first big decisions as Spain women’s coach when she named a surprising squad for upcoming Nations League matches against Sweden and Switzerland.

The squad is in chaos with 15 of the World Cup-winning group selected, despite most of the players still being on strike from the national team.

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Midfielder Hermoso was in the eye of the storm that shook Spanish football over the past month after former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed her, with 39 players striking from the national team despite his resignation and coach Jorge Vilda’s sacking.

Vilda, disliked by some of the players, was dismissed as the Spanish football federation tried to make changes demanded by over 80 players, striking in the wake of former president Rubiales’s kiss on midfielder Jenni Hermoso’s lips in Sydney.

After Rubiales resigned, 39 players including the vast majority of the World Cup squad, said they still did not plan to return until further changes were made.

However, Tome called up many of them, saying she was convinced they would come and hailing their professionalism.

Tome said she left Hermoso out of the squad to protect her.

“We are with Jenni on everything, and with all the players,” added the new coach.

“The best way to protect her is like this, I have worked five years with her.”

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas was named in the squad by Tome, along with Barcelona teammates Mapi Leon and Patri Guijarro, a duo who were not at the World Cup because of another protest against the RFEF and Vilda.

Tome said she’d spoken to the World Cup players on strike before she selected them.

“I trust in that the players are professionals, they have just become champions of the world, they love the national team, and I know they will be here with us tomorrow,” Tome told a news conference.

“Today we start a new era in the national team, that’s something good, beautiful, all players have the chance to be here and all have the same opportunities.”

Swiss forward Ana Crnogorcevic, who signed for Atletico Madrid this summer from Barcelona labelled Tome’s squad “disrespectful”.

“This is insane… how can you threaten your own players like this… call them to the national team, when they said they want clear changes before they come back!” wrote Crnogorcevic on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

“This is soooo disrespectful… clearly they don’t care… and they don’t allow them to make their own decision.” Previously, while Rubiales was still in charge, the RFEF reminded the striking players that they would be obliged to come if called up, regardless of their strike.

How Spanish football was brought to its knees

Rubiales kissed Hermoso during the medal ceremony after Spain beat England in Sydney on August 20, provoking a fierce worldwide backlash.

Expected to resign at an emergency RFEF meeting, Rubiales railed against false feminism and said he was going nowhere.

Vilda, Tome and Spain’s men’s coach Luis de la Fuente were criticised for applauding Rubiales’s fiery discourse.

“We had to come because they told us to — the things that happened there I didn’t feel part of,” said Tome.

“The two times I applauded were when he said that we are all world champions and when they told me that I was going to be the sporting director.”

Rubiales’ speech led to 81 women’s players going on strike and most of Vilda’s coaching staff, including his assistant Tome, offering their resignations to the RFEF.

Vilda was sacked on September 5, with Rubiales resigning on September 10, later appearing in Spain’s top criminal court as part of an investigation into sexual assault and coercion regarding the kiss.

Despite their departures, 39 players, including the vast majority of the World Cup winners, had said they would not come back until further conditions were met, including reshaping certain departments within the RFEF, currently led by interim president Pedro Rocha.

“Players are urged to join this change led by the federation, understanding that the changes that must continue have to be solid and fair,” said the RFEF earlier Monday in a statement.

It appeared a last-ditch attempt to lure the players back.

The RFEF said “difficult decisions” had been made in recent days and the process would continue, as the federation itself “is aware of the need to make structural changes”

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