Australians are one step closer to potentially securing a public holiday after the Matildas won in a gripping quarter-final against France.
After no side scored a goal after 120 minutes of play, the Australian women’s soccer team inched a win after an agonising 10-round penalty shoot out.
Now just three games away from the all-important final, The Matildas will next play in the semi-final on Wednesday night against either England or Columbia.
Although the decision to implement a holiday will ultimately depend on state premiers and territory chief ministers, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has continued to back the day off.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Mr Albanese threw his support behind the idea, saying the team has been “inspiring the nation”.
“The whole of Australia will be watching the Matildas and cheering them on,” he said.
Responding to criticism of the idea by industry groups who argue the move could cost the economy billions of dollars, Mr Albanese denied that would be the case.
“I do note that there were concerns expressed when we had the public holiday for the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II and some said that was something that would cause economic disruption,” he said.
“What that did, of course, was lead to increased economic activity in a whole lot of businesses, particularly small businesses.”
He promised to raise the prospect with premiers and chief ministers at next week’s national cabinet meeting.
Mr Albanese will be attending Australia’s quarter-final clash in-person on Saturday evening.
Despite appearing at the Mount Isa Rodeo in northwest Queensland just hours earlier, Mr Albanese was spotted heading into Brisbane’s Suncorp stadium at just before 4pm.
Albo throws down gauntlet to France
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister minted a deal with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who will now have to come out in support of the Matildas on Wednesday.
“How about a bet @EmmanuelMacron? If @TheMatildas win tonight, you’ll support Australia in the semi-finals. If the @equipedefranceF win, I’ll support France. Deal? #GoMatildas,” Mr Albanese tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
It seemed to have a positive reaction from Mr Macron, who is known for being an avid soccer fan.
“The World Cup is brilliantly co-organised by you, Australia. It‘s an honour to face the Matildas in the quarter-finals today, but no worries: Les Bleues will take the lead! Deal.”