A tribute to the Matildas “incredible” World Cup run has been met with calls for a major injection of funding into the women’s game.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was one of the 75,000 fans who packed out to Sydney’s Olympic Park on Wednesday night to watch the Tillies go down 3-1 in the semi-final.

Despite a number attempts on goal from captain Sam Kerr, including the moment of sheer magic in the 63rd minute that briefly tied the match, the Aussies couldn’t get over the line.

After the game, Mr Albanese was quick to jump on social media to lead the praise of the Matildas stars.

“You’ve given us all moments and memories that will last a lifetime,” he wrote.

“Every single Matilda has brought us joy throughout this @FIFAWWC. And I have no doubt that the next generation of Matildas were watching. We’ll all be cheering for you on Saturday (in the play off for third).”

But some fans weren’t too pleased with Mr Albanese’s tribute, calling for him to put his money where his mouth is.

“Fund them! Invest in women’s sport and help improve the opportunities for the generation who’ve been inspired by this Matildas team and all they’ve achieved at this world cup,” one wrote.

“Yeah cool now put your money where you’re (sic) mouth is and fund the game,” another said.

Another said given the state of funding for football in Australia, finishing in the top 4 was “pretty much a miracle”.

“Just imagine what we could achieve,” they said.

Mr Albanese is just one of the many politicians who jumped on the Matildas bandwagon during their deep run in the Australian/New Zealand hosted World Cup.

He even went as far as championing a national public holiday should the Australians make the final – but ultimately sidestepped a promised discussion with state leaders on Wednesday.

Heartbroken fans warned the Prime Minister they were prepared to hold him to account.

“Fund the game bro, we’ve got the receipts of you and the other politicians going ham over how well our Matildas have gone,” a fan wrote.

“Give the game the support it needs and deserves”.

Another said: “Enough of political point scoring, give them the opportunity, fund grassroots and give them a level playing field”.

It comes as a heartbroken Kerr called for the Matildas efforts to be used as a catalyst to change the future of Australian soccer.

Speaking after the loss, the captain said the funding allocated to the sport compared to others was “not good enough”.

“I can only speak for the Matildas [but], you know, we need funding in our development, we need funding in our grassroots. We need funding, you know, we need funding everywhere,” Kerr said after the match.

“You know, comparison to other sports isn’t really good enough and hopefully this tournament kind of changes that because that’s the legacy you leave, not what you do on the pitch.

“The legacy is what you do off the pitch. Hopefully. I mean, it’s hard to talk about now, but hopefully that this is the start of something new.”

Australian coach Tony Gustavsson agreed: “This is not the end of something, this needs to be the start of something. And with that comes money as well.”



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By Rahul

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