- Simon Hill criticized the decision to reschedule the match
- Says a stadium move sends the wrong message
- Believes Australia needs football-specific stadiums
Football broadcaster Simon Hill has criticized the decision to move a Matildas match to a larger stadium to accommodate tens of thousands of fans who would otherwise not be able to get a ticket.
Australia will play three qualifying matches for the Olympic Games in Paris in November and October.
The matches were originally going to be played at Perth Rectangular Stadium, which has a capacity of just over 20,000.
But due to high demand, the match in the Philippines will be moved to Optus Stadium, which can accommodate 60,000 fans.
Hill believes this popular move sends the wrong message.
The Matildas will move one of their Olympic qualifiers to Optus Stadium to accommodate thousands of extra fans
Hill has rejected the move, arguing Australia needs better football-specific facilities
“I’m going against public opinion here,” he wrote on Twitter.
‘I understand there is a huge demand for tickets, but the more we move matches to oval venues because of the larger capacity (the same goes for the Socceroos by the way), the more the message gets through that we don’t really have good ️(football) specific facilities need’ .
“We need to start fighting properly for what we need,” he added in a flurry of tweets.
‘(We) don’t need bigger️ (football) facilities. (We) need more (football) specific facilities. ‘We’ve played on ovals for decades to make some money – what good has it done? Why do we keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result?
‘You start small: you pick out the boutique locations (there is work to be done in the club game) and then you try to increase capacity. It’s the template all over the world… except here. Look at what the US is doing with their MLS locations – most are around 20-30k. Perfect.’
Many of Hill’s followers agreed with his comments about the need for a football-specific stadium.
‘100% agree! Watching football, Union or League in an oval is a very bad experience for fans. You’re far removed from the game and you just don’t get/feel the atmosphere,” said one.
“The best roundball game I’ve been to was Columbia vs Jamaica WWC at Melb Rectangular Stadium. Agree with you Simon, the idea of the bigger the better is misleading,” replied another.
Many of Hill’s followers agreed that watching football in a rectangular stadium is better (Photo: Matildas captain Sam Kerr during the World Cup)
“Football matches should no longer be played on cricket ovals,” a third agreed.
Western Australia Premier Roger Cook said the stadium shift for the match in the Philippines on October 29 made “sense”.
‘Although the Rectangle Stadium at HBF Park is best suited for football, given that all three matchdays were sold out, on balance it made sense to move one to Optus Stadium so that as many fans as possible could see the team Cook said. .