CANBERRA: The Australian government, whose financial fingers were badly burned in the 2022 World Cup bid, has put that debacle behind it and promised AUS$4m (US$3.1m) towards pursuit of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Last June the government provided AUS$1m (US$790,000) to support a first phase of bid development and feasibility assessment.

This further funding will be invested in appointing a bid team responsible for the delivery of the final submission to world football federation FIFA.

Working groups have been established in all Australian states and territories to research the tournament requirements.

The 2015 tournament in Canada attracted 1.25m fans and a global television audience of 764m. Next year’s finals will be staged in France.

Also interested in 2023 are Colombia, New Zealand, South Korea and Thailand.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: “It’s a great initiative, a great goal and I‘m excited to announce that the government will be backing the FFA’s bid for Australia to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

“The Matildas are leaders on the international stage and wonderful role models in our community […] A women‘s World Cup hosted in our back yard would inspire a new generation of women and girls right across Australia.”

David Gallop, chief executive of Football Federation Australia, said: “We believe that hosting the world’s biggest women’s sporting event would bring enormous benefits to the Australian community, not only promoting healthy, active lifestyles but inclusion and gender equality.”

The Australian women’s national team are currently ranked eighth in the world, and reached the World Cup quarter-finals for the third successive tournament in Canada in 2015.

Major sports events hosted in Australia over the past two decades have included the 2000 Olympic Games, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the  2015 AFC Asian Cup and the 2015 Cricket World Cup co-hosting with New Zealand. Gold Coast will stage the Commonwealth Games in April.