Crowd increase for Matildas-Brazil games

Australian soccer fans will have the chance to come out in numbers to support the Matildas.
Australian soccer fans will have the chance to come out in numbers to support the Matildas.

More than 20,000 people will be able to attend the Matildas' internationals against Brazil after the NSW government lifted capacity, in a move that opens the door for the Socceroos to play on home soil in November.

The initial ticket allocation of 5000 for the Matildas' matches on October 23 and 26 had sold out when released on Tuesday but the state government has since increased capacity to 75 per cent of CommBank Stadium - or 22,500.

The decision came after NSW reached a double-vaccination rate of 70 per cent of the population over 16 - and is closing in on 80 per cent.

The games are the first on home soil for the Australian women since facing Vietnam in an Olympic qualifier in Newcastle in March 2020, with all of their games under new coach Tony Gustavsson to date being played overseas.

"Today's announcement ... is another ground breaking announcement for Australian football following the NSW Government's approval of our submission to host these matches in Sydney within the 14-day mandatory quarantine period," Football Australia (FA) chief executive James Johnson said.

"This now means that more NSW based fans will be able to see their favourite national women's team live once again, and also paves the way for Sydney to host the Socceroos' crucial home (World Cup qualifier) against Saudi Arabia on 11 November."

The Socceroos finished their second phase of qualifying in a Kuwait hub and have played - and won - 'home' qualifiers against China and Oman in Doha.

After Japan's home crowd gave the hosts extra energy to find a late winner against the Socceroos on Tuesday night, Australia coach Graham Arnold pleaded for their next qualifier against Saudi Arabia to be played on home soil.

The Socceroos are second behindthe unbeaten Saudis in Group B and FA are desperate to play the crucial game at CommBank Stadium.

"I'm just really appealing to the government to help us on this journey to qualify for a World Cup," Arnold said.

"NSW is open now. Please help us, we need our crowd back."

Australian Associated Press