Premier Colin Barnett today announced that the State Government, through Tourism Western Australia, had secured the team’s first home FIFA World Cup qualification match, to be played at the revitalised nib Stadium, most likely in June or September.
“I am thrilled to announce that Perth will be the first Australian city to host the Socceroos as they start their campaign to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia,” Mr Barnett said.
“Not only will it be the team’s first home match on the road to Russia, it will be their first home World Cup qualification game since last month’s win at the AFC Asian Cup.
“The Socceroos and football’s popularity has soared in Australia in the past decade and we expect there will be huge interest in this match.”
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said securing the Socceroos match for Perth was a drawcard for interstate and overseas visitors, as well as fans from across WA.
“Major international events are vital for the State’s economy, attracting visitors, adding vibrancy and generating national and international media exposure for WA,” Dr Hames said.
“It is a great coup for WA to host a world-class sporting event of this calibre and a sign of things to come once the new Perth Stadium opens in 2018.
“Tourism is growing in WA, with the industry generating more than 91,000 jobs and contributing $8.3 billion to the economy through visitor spend and we want to see it grow further.”
Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said this world-class match was an example of the benefits of the State Government’s $95.14 million redevelopment of nib Stadium, completed in October 2013.
“This redevelopment placed nib Stadium among Australia’s best sporting venues, making it more competitive on a national stage,” Ms Davies said.
“I am delighted nib Stadium will host this tremendous event.”
The Socceroos last travelled to Perth in 2005 when they played a friendly match against Indonesia to raise money for victims of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. It is expected the first home qualifier will take place in either June or September 2015.