Albanese cops backlash from ex-Matildas star over public holiday promise

Aug 11, 2023
PM Albanese faces criticism from former Matildas star over lack of proper support for Aussie soccer athletes. Source: Getty

Former Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri has taken a swipe at Prime Minister Anthony Albanese following his proposal for a potential public holiday in celebration of the Maltildas’ ongoing success in the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

As the Matildas gear up to face France in Brisbane on Saturday for a chance to reach the semi-finals – a first for both the Australian men’s and women’s teams – Albanese has floated the idea of having a public holiday should the Matildas make it to the finals on Sunday, August 20.

“Public holidays are up to state and territory leaders,” Albanese said on 2Day FM radio on Monday, August 8.

“But, you know what, we’ve got a national cabinet coming up next week.

“I’ll be clearly putting the argument and I reckon they’ll fold like tents. They will go one after the other,” he continued.

“Because if we can get there, that would be remarkable.”

But instead of folding to his idea, Albanese was met with a seething attack from Barbieri, who took to social media to publicly call out the government for their lack of actual support for athletes.

The veteran goalkeeper, who played 86 games for the Matildas between 2002 and 2005, slammed the PM over inadequate wages for coaches and players in both the men’s and women’s A-Leauges.

Barbieri then responded to the tweet to explain her stance, as a fan shared an idea about solving Australia’s football funding problem.

The Matildas began their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over a resilient Ireland team, replacement captain Steph Catley securing the winning goal in the second half of the match.

Although the Australian side was dealt a devastating blow to their finals hopes after suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Nigeria . They then rallied in their next match to dominate Olympic champions Canada with a 4-0 triumph in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

The remarkable victories have etched their name in sporting history as they secured the top spot in their group for the first time in the World Cup.

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