The first-ever FIFA Fan Festival™ at a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ have been a resounding success and on Monday night celebrated welcoming more than 500,000 fans across all host cities. Ashleigh Gell from Sydney/ Gadigal was left stunned as she was invited onto the stage at the FIFA Fan Festival in her home town to represent the 500,000th visitor across all host cities and offered two match tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final by FIFA Head of Marketing Operations & Event Promotion, Gerdine Lindhout. “I think it’s pretty crazy and we’re so stoked that we’re the 500,000th people to come through,” said Gell who came to the FIFA Fan Festival to support Australia, along with her friend Sarah Gay from France. “We’ve been trying to get our hands on some tickets for the remaining games, so to get this prize – we are pretty happy about that,” said Gell who had particularly enjoyed watching the underdog teams getting through to the play-offs.
FIFA Fan Festivals (formerly FIFA Fan Fests) have been a regular feature of the FIFA World Cup since 2006, but this year’s tournament in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand has been the first time this unique fan experience has been offered in all host cities of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Since its inception, the FIFA Fan Festivals have welcomed almost 40 million visitors across five continents and the interest has been equally huge at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with a record 50,000 visitors coming through the gates on July 27, the night when Australia’s Matildas played Canada. The free-to-enter FIFA Fan Festival shows the matches live on big screens and offers an exciting programme of music, entertainment, local culture, culinary highlights by award-winning chefs and fun fan activities for all ages. The programme has included some of the biggest names in the Australian and Kiwi music industry with artists like Ladyhawke, Jessica Mauboy, Kimbra and San Cisco among the long list of high-profile acts, as well as up-and-coming local talents. Sydneysider Gell said the FIFA Fan Festival was all about “good vibes, friends and football”.
The visitor numbers have peaked during matches, but the appeal of the supporting entertainment and family activities have attracted a continuous stream of visitors throughout the days. “When we consider the stadiums as the heart of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, the FIFA Fan Festival is definitely the life and soul,” said FIFA’s Gerdine Lindhout. “You can come with your family; you can come with your friends. There is something for all ages and the entrance is free of charge.” The FIFA Fan Festival excitement is far from over with 10 matches still to be played until the Final in Stadium Australia on August 20, and seven host cities will continue to offer the unique match experience along with great performances from artists such as Montaigne, JessB, Kaylee Bell and Hollie Smith. For the opening dates and times in each Host City, including which artists will be performing and when, please visit the FIFA Fan Festival website.
Chairman House Committee on Sports congratulates D’ Tigress
…Sues for peace
The female National team D’ Tigress have received commendation from the Chairman House Committee on Sports Honourable Ekene Adams Abubakar for their sterling performance at the Afro Basketball Championship in Rwanda. The Nigerian team were crowned champions for the 4th consecutive time as they defeated Senegal by 84- 74 to emerge champions in Kigali, Rwanda. According to Abubakar ” Congratulations to our girls for winning the Afro Basketball Championship, pro they are truly the champions of Africa. This victory is heart warming and an indication that they can rule the world if given the opportunity. This shows that hardwork, commitment and team spirit pays. We are glad that these girls keep soaring. We are indeed proud of the team and we will continue to give them necessary support to excel. We celebrate a great team and their performance should spur the Falcons to victory against England in the Women’s World Cup on going in Australia and New Zealand ” He said players welfare must be given priority so that they can be highly motivated to do the country proud. “
We shall continue to give needed support to all sports so that Nigerian athletes can attain their potentials. If players our athletes are properly trained, motivated and encouraged, they can compete with the best teams in the world. We will encourage every sports and not just football because Nigeria is a great sporting nation” Meanwhile, Abubakar has called on all stakeholders to embrace peace in order to ensure that sponsors support sports Development. In his words ” Sports can only thrive when there is peace among all stakeholders. No corporate organizations will invest their money where the don’t get returns on their investments. No investor will bring his money where there is crisis or infighting. Let’s all come together to restore Nigerian lost glory by working as a peaceful, United entity. We should create the right synergy among all the stakeholders.”