Australia to launch W-League

The eight team competition will feature sides from all seven men’s A-League clubs, plus an ACT-based side to be known as Canberra United. The tournament will be sponsored by Westfield and is expected to feature a 10-round regular season and finals series. The W-League is expected to cost between $3 million and $4 million a year to run and the early focus will be on building the profile of the sport.

Federal Sports Minister, Kate Ellis, said that although some other women’s sports might be unhappy with the government’s focus on football, they were not “picking favorites”.

“I want to make it clear we’re not picking favorites, but frankly, why shouldn’t there be a women’s (football) league?” she said. “When you have a look at the participation rates, they’re quite staggering. We want to make sure there is a solid pathway in place so these girls have role models and be encouraged to keep playing.”

There are currently 100,000 registered female football players in the country.