ICYMI | We're hosting the 'Cup of Nations' in 2019! 🇦🇺🇦🇷🇰🇷🇳🇿https://t.co/QQoHWXlG1A— Westfield Matildas (@TheMatildas) December 18, 2018
The Matildas will "warm up" for the 2019 Women's World Cup with a four-team tournament to be held "on home soil" in February and March, according to the London GUARDIAN. Manager Alen Stajcic’s side will be joined at the inaugural Cup of Nations by fellow World Cup participants Argentina, South Korea and New Zealand for three doubleheaders at Jubilee Stadium in Sydney, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and AAMI Park in Melbourne. The six-match competition, inspired by the "successful" Tournament of Nations held in the U.S. for the past two years, will give the Australian football public "a chance to bid farewell to the team" before it heads to France for the World Cup beginning on June 7. Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop said, "We’ve been working towards hosting a four-nation tournament in Australia for some time and it’s great to finally unveil what we plan on becoming a regular feature of the Australian sporting calendar. All four sides will be aiming for success at the World Cup, and we expect the quality of the six matches to be world-class" (GUARDIAN, 12/18). In Sydney, Vince Rugari reported the Cup of Nations is an audition "in more ways than one." For Matildas players, it is "one more chance to convince" Stajcic that they belong in his "first-choice team" for the WWC. For Australian football "more broadly," it is "another opportunity to show how good the 2023 World Cup could be" if it was held in Australia. If recent friendlies "are any indication, there should be excellent crowds in all three cities." Gallop: "Any time we get an opportunity to showcase the game and where it's at, particularly women's football, it's a reminder to FIFA that we've got the ability to host world-class tournaments. Although it's only a week, we will show that Australians would get behind a Women's World Cup" (SMH, 12/18).