Home / World News / Matildas squad named for Cup of Nations match, but Women’s World Cup Saudi sponsorship questions off limits

Matildas squad named for Cup of Nations match, but Women’s World Cup Saudi sponsorship questions off limits

The Matildas were gagged from addressing FIFA’s decision to join forces with Saudi Arabia’s tourist authority for this year’s Women’s World Cup, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Visit Saudi will reportedly be among the tournament’s sponsors despite the nation’s history of oppression of women’s rights.

Football Australia officials wouldn’t allow Matildas players or coach Tony Gustavsson to be asked questions about the Visit Saudi sponsorship on Thursday morning at the announcement of Australia’s 25-strong squad for this month’s Cup of Nations tournament in NSW.

Chloe Logarzo, who remains on the comeback trail from a ruptured ACL, is a surprise omission from the squad.

The 28-year-old midfielder was part of the Matildas squad for the recent November camp but has been struggling for game time in the women’s A-League competition with Western United, where she is on loan from American club Kansas City.

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However, uncapped Western Sydney Wanderers defender Clare Hunt has been rewarded for her women’s A-League form with selection in Australia’s Cup of Nations squad.

The squad also includes returning trio Emily Gielnik, Tameka Yallop and Mackenzie Arnold, who have recovered from injuries.

“The first camp of the year is always an exciting prospect following a lengthy break from the team environment, and in a FIFA Women’s World Cup year, it adds a little more anticipation,” Gustavsson said.

“Our Cup of Nations squad has been selected in line with our principles built in the back half of 2022 as we continue to create consistency and chemistry among the playing group.

“This is particularly important in a tournament that mirrors the group stage play and presents an opportunity to maximise our time together with less than 200 days until the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off.”

The Matildas will play Cup of Nations matches against Czechia (February 16, Gosford), Spain (February 19, Sydney) and Jamaica (February 22, Newcastle)

“We were pleased with the way the team progressed towards the end of 2022 and the matches provided many learnings for us to build on during these games later this month,” Gustavsson said.

“We know there are some areas we need to continue evolving in and that will be the focus of our matches against three opponents that provide real variety of approach.”

Matildas’ Cup of Nations squad: Mackenzie Arnold, Steph Catley, Alex Chidiac, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Larissa Crummer, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry, Charlotte Grant, Clare Hunt, Elise Kellond-Knight, Alanna Kennedy, Sam Kerr, Aivi Luik., Teagan Micah, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Amy Sayer, Emily van Egmond, Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Lydia Williams, Tameka Yallop.

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