Australia’s men’s football head coach Graham Arnold has called on the Prime Minister and the Australian Sports Commission to start funding the sport properly as the Olyroos prepare for their first Olympic campaign since 2008.
Men’s football had its funding cut in 2018, but the under-23 team has since qualified for Tokyo and is now said to be hampered by a lack of resources heading into the tournament.
“We need Scott Morrison and the Australian Government to step up and help us with some money because at the end of the day, we are a world game,” Arnold told the ABC.
“We are in a confederation in Asia that is very big and is very diverse but there is a lot of money involved.
“Now there is probably a perception out there that sponsors give them money, but it comes from [their] government.”
“We touch the rest of the world and we need our Government’s help.”
Earlier this month, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates lashed out at Australian Sports Commission (ASC) chairman John Wylie about the funding issues ahead of Tokyo. The two men have for a long time disagreed on how funding for sport is allocated. Arnold told the ABC he had held productive conversations with the AOC, but said the success of the Olyroos was dependent on the ASC helping aid the football program.
“If you have the Olyroos and the Matildas going to the Olympics and football fans around Australia — and it is the highest participated sport for juniors in the country — all watching the Olympics, it makes the Olympics even better. “We have had the conversations. I do believe the ASC will help us with our preparation, especially once we hit the ground in Tokyo.”