The indigenous flags of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand will be displayed during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ matches.
This week, FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote to senior government officials from the tournament’s co-host nations to honor their support for a request and response from the Cultural Advisory Board for the tournament, as well as Soccer Australia and New Zealand.
Following FIFA recently announcing its partnership with several United Nations (UN) agencies to highlight a range of social issues during the tournament, the Governing Body of World Football has now announced more initiatives that reflect its commitment to inter-comparative indigenous peoples in the competition’s host countries, with Emphasizing the importance of First Nations in Australia and Maori such as Tangata Winoa in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Each of the six host stadiums in Australia will display the Australian flag, the Australian Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag, while the four host stadiums in Aotearoa New Zealand will proudly display the Aotearoa New Zealand flag and the national tino rangatiratanga/Maori.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “FIFA recognizes the importance of First Nations Australia and Maori as Tangata when they are in Aotearoa, New Zealand, as Australia and New Zealand host the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
An important step in the making and preparation of the Championship was the establishment of an all-female Cultural Advisory Board to establish lasting relationships in partnership with First Nations and Maori communities and to ensure meaningful participation and inclusion of all cultural touchpoints during the Championship.”
This week, during NAIDOC Week in Australia and ahead of the Matariki Aotearoa festivities in New Zealand, FIFA acknowledged the application made by the Cultural Advisory Committee for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and Soccer Australia and New Zealand, which has been supported by the governments of Australia and Aotearoa in New Zealand. It is about the spirit of mutual respect, national identity and recognition of the indigenous cultures of our guests.”
FIFA has taken steps to recognize the unique cultures and histories of both countries, to ensure they are respected in all aspects of this year’s tournament. All host cities bear English wording along with translations of traditional te reo Māori place names and Australian First Nations place names, while traditional cultures are represented across all FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ branding. First Nations and Maori cultures will also be heavily represented during welcome teams and matches, including ceremonies and captains’ badges.
During the tournament, FIFA will present other initiatives related to the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, which is celebrated on August 9.
James Johnson, Chief Executive of Football Australia, supported FIFA’s decision: “FIFA’s confirmation that all official flags of Australia will be flown during the Women’s World Cup is an important moment for all Australians, especially First Nations people. This decision is in line with the values of our organisation, where diversity and inclusion are at the heart of its activities Our governance. This joint application has been supported by both federal governments and we would like to thank the Australian Minister for Sport and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, both strong supporters of this initiative, for their support. This decision means a lot to many.”
Football New Zealand CEO Andrew Pragnell also acknowledged the importance of the decision: “Hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup provides an opportunity to shape how the tournament evolves and interact with its hosts in future editions. And in particular in recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples around the world.”
The flight of the Tino Rangatiratanga during the tournament alongside the country’s official flag is a powerful symbol that reflects the partnership between the Crown and Maori that underpins this country. I would like to thank FIFA for this decision and appreciate the work that the New Zealand government and the tournament’s cultural advisory committee have done to achieve this outcome.”
The Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023™ kicks off on Thursday 20 July, when New Zealand take on Norway at Eden Park, Auckland/Tamaki Makurao, while Australia play the Republic of Ireland at Australia’s home ground, Sydney/Wangall, same. day.
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