Football Australia has announced Australia will host the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. The home event follows the success of last year’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Australia last hosted the continental football tournament almost 20 years ago and many contend it earned its stripes as a footballing nation, particularly due to the growth in participation in women’s football.

Women make up 23 per cent of the nation’s footballing participation, but Football Australia’s Equality Gender Action aims to have a 50 per cent gender split by 2027.

Football Australia’s proportion of female executive committee members across the entire Asian confederate is at its highest at 44 per cent.

Federal Minister for Sport Anika Wells said if there is anything to take from the Women’s World Cup, it is women’s sport is not just a phase and the successful bid for the Asian Cup highlights the point.

“I’m proud to be a part of a government that is increasing the visibility of women’s sport and creating greater opportunities for women and girls in sport,” Ms Wells said.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson said the 2026 AFC tournament would also create more than 1,000 jobs across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia.

@10newsfirst Australia will host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2026, the Asian Football Confederation confirmed on Wednesday night. It will be the second time Australia has hosted the competition, previously hosting the 2006 edition. Twelve nations will play in the tournament in matches across New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, with our Matildas set to enter the games as one of the favourites. CEO of Football Australia James Johnson spoke following the announcement, detailing the economic impact the tournament is set to have on Australia and its football community. Australia was the sole-bidder for the event. For more on the Matildas, follow the link in bio. #Matildas #AsianCup #FootballAustralia #WomensFootball #WomensSport #10Sport #10Football #10NewsFirst ♬ original sound – 10 News First Australia

Grassroots women’s football player and volunteer at last year’s Women’s World Cup Jessie Morgan said, since the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a new generation of young girls have discovered a profound love for the sport.

“Australia put on a successful and beautifully run event,” Ms Morgan said.

“Especially showing how much Australians are backing females in sport with packed out venues for most games, not just the Matildas.

“Grassroots has definitely benefited, a lot more consideration is going into local women’s football.

“Football Australia as well as other stakeholders are promoting the women’s game a lot more which is nice to see.”

The 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will feature 12 teams with the tournament dates still set to be announced.