COMMENT: Yes! The women's World Cup is coming to Australia. Lounge rooms (and bedrooms for those who couldn't give up the doona) erupted at just before 2am.
Pure elation oozed out of everyone watching and waiting for the FIFA 2023 World Cup vote. Australia's joint bid with New Zealand for hosting rights was by far the best proposal, but the murky world of FIFA makes everyone nervous.
The Australia-New Zealand bid secured enough votes to beat the only other contender, Colombia, winning the vote count 22-13.
Fans jumped for joy. Phones buzzed with early-morning text messages. Players looked on in disbelief. Hosting a World Cup, the third most-watched sporting event in the world, was a pipe dream until a couple of years ago.
Yes! The Matildas are going to get the recognition they deserve. They'll put women's sport on the map. Yes! Yes! Yes!
And then Canberra woke up with mixed feelings on a foggy winter morning. The wide grins and excitement quickly turned to confusion, because the World Cup bid comes with a caveat for the capital: we won't be part of it. At all.
Yes! Wait. What? Canberra, the self-proclaimed women's sporting capital of Australia isn't going to be a part of the women's World Cup? You have to wonder whether the ACT government will wake up this morning and have an "oh shit" moment. What have we done?
It's a shame Canberra's women's sporting community will have their excitement tempered by the city's World Cup absence.
So how did it get to all of this? The Canberra Times revealed the government was withdrawing from the FFA's bid, deeming the cost of hosting matches too high.
How much is too much? It's believed the price tag could have been as high as $6 million for six games and no guarantee of hosting the Matildas.
Does that make it easier to swallow the fact we're about to miss out on something special? Initially: no. Of course Canberra's soccer community wants World Cup games.
Instead of being at games, they'll be watching them be played in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston and Newcastle. Honestly, Launceston and Newcastle. No offence to either city, but surely Canberra should have jumped in to be ahead of them?
New Zealand's part of the bid included games in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Dunedin.
In the long term: maybe. The government has to draw the line somewhere, and the FFA's treatment of Canberra over the past decade or so has been pretty miserable. Fly-in, fly-out Socceroos games, broken A-League promises and charging a premium for games at the smaller Canberra Stadium.
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The women's World Cup will be seen by more than 1 billion people and the tournament will be the biggest in history, with 32 teams competing for the ultimate prize.
The Matildas are darlings of Australian sport, their popularity booming in recent years and putting women's football on the map.
It's hard to believe less than 10 years ago they played in front of fewer than 1500 diehards at the AIS track. They're now selling out 20,000 seat stadiums and the FFA will be targeting giant attendances at the World Cup.
The government decided to invest that $6 million elsewhere, putting $20 million into a new "home of football" being built at Throsby. Part of the deal included hosting a Socceroos game last year and a Matildas game, yet to be scheduled.
It seems to make sense on paper. Investing $6 million to host minnow nations would not have generated a favourable economic return for the capital, even though it is estimated the Australian economy will get a $100 million boost.
Another World Cup deal-breaker was the use of Canberra Stadium, the city's only rectangular stadium. Hosting World Cup matches included a 12-week exclusion zone for other sports at the stadium. The Canberra Raiders and ACT Brumbies would have either had to play away from home between July and August, or be compensated and shift home matches to Manuka Oval.
So the government withdrew, refusing to bow to the FFA's price tag.
The government paid $3.5 million to host seven Asian Cup men's games in 2015. The Socceroos were not a part of that deal. We can safely assume the cost of hosting women's World Cup games was higher than $3.5 million.
If the price of six women's World Cup games was, say, $4 million, would it be worth the investment?
Many are wondering if the government will look back and regret its decision not to splurge on the women's tournament.
Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams started her career in Canberra. Queanbeyan junior Karly Roestbakken made her Matildas debut at the World Cup. But we won't get to see them in the next World Cup unless we travel.
The Canberra soccer community, the largest participation sport in the city, woke up on Friday not knowing whether to cheer or be outraged.
The overwhelming feeling was elation, of course. How great is it that such a big event will be hosted in Australia and how good will it be for the Matildas and women's sport.
The first reaction for some will be to accuse the government of favouring men's sports. That's not true.
The government is a major backer of Canberra United and the Canberra Capitals, chose to host women's T20 World Cup games instead of men's and has invested in growing women's sport over the years.
The government paid $1.76 million to host five women's T20 World Cup games, a competition which doesn't have the international audience of its soccer equivalent, earlier this year.
It is, however, worth pointing out that the government was willing to build a 45,000 seat stadium in Canberra to meet men's World Cup requirements if Australia's bid to host the 2022 tournament.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who was the sport minister at the time of the bid in 2009, eventually withdrew from the men's World Cup bid because of the costs involved.
It was an economic decision back in 2009, opting against a large stadium build and the cost of sporting games to focus on a sporting "bonanza" of events. It paved the way for international golf, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, basketball and netball matches in Canberra, especially for the 2013 centenary celebrations.
The government says it is an economic decision now as well, as hard as that is to swallow given the football euphoria sweeping the nation.
Matildas legend Heather Garriock was flabbergasted when The Canberra Times revealed the government was withdrawing from the World Cup bid proposal. She was the Canberra United coach at the time.
"Why wouldn't you support the 2023 World Cup bid? I can't be more disappointed," Garriock said at the time.
"I read [the story] in the paper this morning at the coffee shop and I guess it shows disrespect in my opinion.
"I'm hugely disappointed in Canberra not supporting it for whatever the reason is. If it clashes with the Canberra Raiders and the Brumbies, that's even more disappointing because you can critique it.
"It would be amazing to have the World Cup in Australia and if something like that was a stopper for the capital not to support it would be hugely disappointing."
There is still one avenue for Canberra to be involved in the World Cup process. The city could host two or three teams as a training base, with teams to arrive at least two weeks in advance to acclimatise.
An international airport and a new $24.5 million soccer hub at Throsby could make Canberra an attractive destination. But the economic benefits of being a training base are non-existent. Tourists won't travel to Canberra and spend nights in hotels or eat at restaurants because teams are training here.
So the prospects of being involved will likely be limited to following the journeys of players like Williams and Roestbakken. Still a brilliant story, but surrounded by sadness and confusion.
That's how many Canberrans are feeling this morning. We're over-the-moon excited about what will be a historic moment for Australian football. We're already dreaming of watching the Matildas challenge for the title.
Unfortunately we're also planning the travel we'll have to do to be a part of it all. Yes! Well, sort of.