Matildas triumph at Women’s World Cup could result in a bonus public holiday, says Albanese

Kyah Simon of the Matildas celebrates scoring a goal during the international friendly match between Australia and the US Women’s National Team at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, NSW, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Source: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he will petition state and territory leaders to call a bonus public holiday if the Matildas reach the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, making an extra day off an outside possibility for business owners and football-following staff alike.

The Australian women’s football team defeated Denmark 2-0 in Sydney on Monday night, with the winner of the knockout clash now heading into the quarter-finals.

The Matildas victory came after a resilient showing in the group stages, even without the talents of injured captain and global superstar Sam Kerr.

Now, victory over the Danes has only intensified excitement for Australia’s run in the first Women’s World Cup held on home soil, and takes the Matildas one step closer to a generation-defining cup triumph.

Appearing on 2DayFM Monday in the hours before kick-off, Albanese was asked if Australia will face an extra public holiday should the Matildas make the Women’s World Cup final on the evening of Sunday, August 20.

“You see, public holidays are up to state and territory leaders,” Albanese said.

“But you know what, we’ve got a National Cabinet coming up next week.

“I’ll be clearly putting the argument and I reckon they’ll fold like tents. They will go one after the other.

“Because if we can get there, that would be remarkable. It truly is the world game.”

This is not the first time the Prime Minister has broached the prospect of a bonus day off in respect of the nation’s footballing success.

Albanese suggested state and territory leaders would declare a public holiday should the Matildas win the competition in June, a month before it even kicked off.

In 2022, the Prime Minister also raised the possibility of a public holiday if the Australian men’s team secured the World Cup trophy — a prospect which ended with the Socceroos’ Round of 16 loss to eventual champions Argentina.

But the buzz around Australia’s first-ever Women’s World Cup tournament, the goal-scoring abilities of stars like Hayley Raso and Mary Fowler, and the on-field return of Kerr have given real gravity to the public holiday chatter.

Beyond celebrations of sporting triumph, Australia does have recent form when it comes to unexpected public holidays.

Albanese declared September 22, 2022, a national day of mourning after the death of Queen Elizabeth II a fortnight earlier, with state and territory leaders establishing a public holiday in accordance with local legislation.


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