Sam Kerr, Australia’s most famous soccer player, asked for more funding for women’s soccer in her country after being eliminated from the Women’s World Cup in the semifinals.
The Matildas’ 2023 legacy
The captain of the Matildas, who scored her team’s only goal of the game in a spectacular fashion, wants this World Cup to signify a before and after in how the country views women’s soccer.
Speaking to the press after Australia’s exit at the hands of England by a score of 3-1 Kerr said funding is needed everywhere in order to grow the sport:
“I can only speak for the Matildas but, you know, we need funding in our development, we need funding in our grassroots. We need funding, you know, we need funding everywhere… comparison to other sports isn’t really good enough and hopefully this tournament kind of changes that because that’s the legacy you leave, not what you do on the pitch,”said Kerr.
The goal scorer went on saying that the team’s performance should leave a lasting legacy through added support of the sport: “The legacy is what you do off the pitch. Hopefully. I mean, it’s hard to talk about now, but hopefully that this is the start of something new.”
The Matildas’ coach, Tony Gustavsson, echoed Kerr’s statement by saying: “It’s bigger than 90 minutes of football. We’re very disappointed that we lost, but, hopefully, we won something else. We won the heart and the passion for this team in this country… I agree with the players, this is not the end of something, this needs to be the start of something. And with that comes money as well.”
Kerr’s goal celebrated around the country
At the 63rd minute of thesemifinal game, Australia was down 1-0, while the team had a few clear chances to put the ball past England’s goalkeeper, Sam Kerr, who is regarded as one of the world’s top 5 players, decided to take matters into her own feet by dribbling the ball all the way to outside the box before delivering an absolute canon at 31.7 yards that put the Matildas up on the board and more importantly, ignited hope in every Australian watching the game.
The forward’s goal, the longest in a knockout round of the World Cup since 2019, will be in the running for the tournament’s best which will be announced shortly after the final whistle of the Final on Sunday.
Speaking about the support the team has received Kerr said “That’s kind of the only thing that’s keeping me smiling right now is the way that we’ve kind of inspired the nation.”
Touching on how Australia has been viewed as the co-host the Chelsea player went on to say “Everyone’s got behind us. The tournament’s been amazing. Every single team and player and person that’s visited has said how beautiful our country is, so, I think for us, it’s been hopefully life-changing for women’s football in Australia.”