Jamaica’s Reggae Girls will kick off the Cup of Nations tournament in Australia on February 16 against one of the top women’s teams in world football, Spain. They will then play two other powerful squads; the Czech Republic and Australia, respectively.
Football Australia announced today, that with the support of the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, they will host the four-nations Cup of Nations comprising of three double-header matchdays in Gosford, Sydney, and Newcastle.
The six-match tournament will kick-off at Central Coast Stadium in Gosfordon Thursday, 16 February with FIFA number seven rank Spain playing Jamaica (44th) followed by the CommBank Matildas (12th) against Czech Republic (27th).
Three days later, the tournament will shift to Sydney as Jamaica and Czech Republic go head-to-head at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta, followed by a blockbuster clash between the CommBank Matildas and Spain on Match Day Two on Sunday,19 February.
Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium will play host to Match Day 3 of the Cup of Nations on Wednesday, February 22, where Czech Republic will take on Spain, and the CommBank Matildas, will meet Jamaica in the last game of the competition.
The highest placed nation following the completion of all three match days will be the crowned the Cup of Nations champion on 22 February in Newcastle.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson, said he is delighted with these opportunities for the Australian public to experience world class football and cheer on the CommBank Matildas and their football heroes in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ campaign.
“In 2022 we have seen the drawing power of the CommBank Matildas with matches in Townsville, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Gosford and Melbourne drawing over 109,000 spectators as we took the CommBank Matildas to different parts of Australia,”said Johnson.
“February’s Cup of Nations will build on the success of the first tournament held in 2019 and be one of the final opportunities for fans to see the CommBank Matildas on home soil before the commencement of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
“The Cup of Nations will continue to take football to regional areas with the Central Coast, Greater Sydney, and the Hunterpresented an opportunity to farewell the CommBank Matildas ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, as well as get a taste for the international football festival that awaits in 2023.
Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts, believes that the tournament Is excellent preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2023.
“Engaging in tough games like these in World Cup venues in front of large audiences will help to prepare our team for their World Cup challenges in July. The atmosphere will be similar to what can be expected come summer, so the coaching staff will be able to assess the conditioning and mentality of the players at their disposal. We are extremely happy that Jamaica has been invited to this prestigious tournament and we anticipate some outstanding performances,” said Ricketts.
CommBank Matildas Head Coach Tony Gustavssonsaid playing three matches against high quality international opponents ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is part of the runway towards the major tournament.
“Spain, Czech Republic and Jamaica have been carefully selected for the Cup of Nations to ensure we have the right preparation heading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Gustavsson said.
“Not only are all three nations filled with quality, but they also provide a difference in playing style and approach with the three match days aiming to mirror tournament group play to the best of our ability.”
Australia will compete in Group B at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ alongside Republic of Ireland, Nigeria and Canada, while Spain will contest Group C alongside Costa Rica, Zambia, and Japan. Meanwhile, Jamaica will play in Group F alongside France, Brazil, and Group C Play-Off winner being contested in February also, while Czech Republic has not qualified for the tournament.