Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that the Caltex Socceroos will host Nepal at GIO Stadium in Canberra in the team’s first home match on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Australia’s fixture against Nepal will be held on Thursday, 10 October 2019, and will mark the first match that Australia’s senior men’s national football team has played in the nation’s capital since a 3-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic in November 2015.
In June this year it was announced that a series of elite, international matches involving the Caltex Socceroos, Westfield Matildas, and Westfield Young Matildas will be played in Canberra over the next 18 months as part of the ACT Government’s joint-investment with Capital Football to build a new ‘Home of Football’ in Canberra.
FFA Chief Executive, David Gallop AM, said FFA was pleased to have been able to move swiftly to schedule a key match for the Socceroos in Canberra in collaboration with ACT stakeholders.
“Football is the largest team sport in Canberra with nearly 40,000 registered outdoor participants, so it is great that the football community of the ACT, and sports fans generally, will be able to watch the Socceroos live at GIO Stadium this October,” Gallop said.
“Recently the ACT Government made a significant commitment to football by guaranteeing their support for the development of a new and modern ‘Home of Football’ in Canberra, which is expected to be operational during the second half of 2021.
“The selection of Canberra for this important Socceroos fixture is, in part, down to the ACT Government’s fantastic pledge for the game, and we’re sure a large and vocal crowd of Australian supporters will get behind the team in what will be their first game on Australian soil in almost a year,” he said.
Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold, who is currently in Europe monitoring players ahead of Australia’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualification campaign, welcomed news that the Nepal fixture will be played in Canberra.
“Canberra’s sporting community can take great pride in the fantastic Socceroos that the region has helped to develop over the years,” Arnold said. “Players like Ned Zelic, Carl Valeri and Tom Rogic are representative of the elite talent that has emerged from the area, and who continue to fly the flag for football in the nation’s capital.”
“As a team we will arrive in Canberra focused and determined to produce a great Socceroos performance – one that we expect will not only help us on our journey to Qatar, but leave a positive and long-lasting impression for everyone that comes to watch us play Nepal.” he said.
ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry said she was delighted that this important match would be played in the nation’s capital.
“We are expecting a bumper crowd for this premier sports fixture brought to Canberra through a $24.5 million partnership between the ACT Government, Capital Football and Football Federation Australia.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Canberrans to get behind our national team and build Canberra’s reputation as a world-class sporting and tourism destination.” Minister Berry said.
Capital Football Chief Executive Phil Brown said he was delighted that GIO Stadium was chosen as the venue for the first home match of the campaign.
“The confirmation of a Socceroos World Cup qualifier coming to Canberra this year is an exciting opportunity for Canberra’s Football community to get behind one of our National Teams.”
“Capital Football would again like to thank the ACT Government and Football Federation Australia whose partnership has not only allowed this opportunity but afforded the delivery of the new Home of Football to be built in Throsby,” he said.
Following Australia’s match against Nepal in Canberra, the Caltex Socceroos will travel north to Chinese Taipei, where the second match of October’s FIFA window will be held on Tuesday, 15 October 2019.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ – Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2
Australia v Nepal
Date: Thursday, 10 October 2019
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Tickets: On sale now! Click here to buy!
Broadcast: Live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, and via the My Football Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers