The Men’s and Women’s IFCPF Asia-Oceania Championships (Para Asian Cup) will be held in Melbourne later this year, Football Australia and the Australian Government have announced today.
The Pararoos and ParaMatildas, Australia’s national men’s and women’s teams for athletes with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury, and stroke, will both feature.
Both tournaments will take place at the new home of The Matildas, the La Trobe Sports Centre in Bundoora.
Both tournaments will run from October 31 to November 12.
Kai Lammert’s Pararoos against the USA in February, whereas the ParaMatildas were most recently runners up at the IFCPF Women’s World Cup last year.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson hopes this tournament will help enhance para football, in what looms to be a big year for football in the country.
“Football Australia is thrilled and honoured to have won the hosting rights for this historic tournament in 2023. We have a team within our organisation that is committed to para football and know we can deliver a tournament that demonstrates our passion, respect and drive towards ensuring footballers of all abilities can proudly represent Australia and the Asia-Pacific region,” Johnson said.
“To host a historic first-ever women’s Para Asian Cup will follow our co-hosting of a historic FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and part of our strategic vision through Legacy ‘23 to transform how women and girls in Australia see the full potential available to them through football.”
“This will be a tournament delivered at a scale to elevate para football and provide current and new fans with another memorable and empowering experience while growing access to the game for players of all abilities.”
Federal Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill Shorten sees both competitions as a huge moment for sport in the country, as inclusion continues to be a primary focus in society.
The former leader of the Australian Labor Party sees this as an opportunity to inspire not only Australians currently living with a disability, but to each Australia around the country.
“I think it is fantastic for sport, and it is great for Australians with disabilities,” Shorten said when speaking to Kick360.
“For young people with a disability, seeing athletes who look like them playing a high-level sport is a fantastic inspiration.
“The gift that the Pararoos and ParaMatildas give is not just to young people with disability, stretching their imagination and getting rid of the tyranny of low expectations, but it is to all of us.
“It is to all Australians, because when we see these athletes, we stop looking at the impairment, and look at the athlete.”