A soccer exclusion zone and only one rectangular venue in the capital have scuppered plans for Canberra to be a part of Australia's bid to host the women's World Cup in 2023.
The Canberra Times can reveal the ACT government has withdrawn from the FFA's plans to bring the best female players in the world to Australia, despite four states already throwing their support behind the proposal.
It means Canberra will miss out on the chance to showcase Sam Kerr and the Matildas, or the world champion United States if Australia's proposal is successful.
A government spokesperson confirmed a scheduling clash at Canberra Stadium emerged as the biggest stumbling block in trying to host World Cup matches.
The World Cup will be played over a five-week period in July and August of 2023.
The Canberra Raiders and ACT Brumbies will be scheduled to use Canberra Stadium during that period, but there is a requirement for World Cup venues to be unavailable to host other sporting events.
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The FFA said it had already spoken with the NRL and Rugby Australia about trying to avoid schedule clashes. It's understood both organisations have expressed their willingness to work with the FFA if Australia's bid is successful.
But the government has already pulled the pin on being a part of the proposal, which is to be submitted to FIFA next month.
"The ACT Government has advised the FFA that we will not participate in the bid for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup," a government spokesperson said.
NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia have jumped on board, while the FFA is also considering a joint bid with New Zealand.
FIFA is expected to announce the hosting nation for the 2023 World Cup next May. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, South Africa and Korea have also confirmed their bids.
It's a dent to Canberra's reputation as a women's sporting hub, which has developed in recent years after the success of the Canberra Capitals and Canberra United.
The Australian Opals played at the AIS Arena in September, while Manuka Oval will host eight women's Twenty20 internationals in February. Five of those matches will be women's T20 World Cup games.
The government turned its back on the men's T20 World Cup to instead invest in women's matches.
The Matildas have not played in Canberra since they hosted New Zealand in 2013 but FFA officials are working with the government towards securing a date to bring them to the capital next year.
It comes as part of a three-way $24.5 million deal to build a new centre of excellence and secure internationals in the ACT.
Canberra is a front-runner to host a Matildas qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic Games due to the existing deal.
If the Matildas progress to the final round in the Asian qualifiers then they'll earn the right to host one match as part of a two-legged play-off on Friday, March 6.