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FIFA Women’s World Cup: Indigenous flag hoisted for first time in history

Key Point
  • First Nations flags will be flown in all matches of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • This is the first time such a decision has been made in a World Cup.
  • The decision was applauded by football bodies in Australia and New Zealand.
Indigenous flags from Australia and New Zealand will be flown at all matches at the Women’s World Cup after FIFA, the governing body of football, approved a request from the Australian and New Zealand football bodies.
This is the first time such a decision has been made in a soccer World Cup.
The Australian flag, the Australian Indigenous flag and the Torres Strait Islands flag will be displayed at all 35 matches played in Australia.
Also, the Maori flag, known as the Tino Rangatiratanga, and the New Zealand flag will be used for the 29 matches in New Zealand.

The tournament runs from July 20th to August 20th.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said Friday: “These important flags express the spirit of mutual respect, national identity and recognition of indigenous cultures towards the host nation.”
Football Australia CEO James Johnson described the recognition as “an important moment for all Australians, especially Indigenous peoples”.

“This decision is consistent with our organization’s values, which make diversity and inclusion core to our philosophy as a governing body and vision for the tournament,” he said.

Mr Johnson said Sports Minister Anika Wells and Australian Indigenous Peoples Minister Linda Burney “clearly supported this cause”.
Many people are at the table on this issue. We have the NIAG group (National Indigenous Advisory Group) and have been talking to them about the importance of actually advancing this issue.
“And it’s a complicated issue for FIFA, because FIFA could set a precedent in the future.”

FIFA also incorporated advice from its own all-female Indigenous and Maori Cultural Commission, known as the Whanau First Sisters of Country of Sea and Air.

New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell also praised FIFA’s endorsement.
“Hosting … provides an opportunity for future competitions to evolve the tournament and shape how we interact with the organizers, particularly in recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples around the world,” he said.
“It is a powerful symbol to fly the Tino Rangatiratanga with the official national flag at competitions.”

Indigenous pair Kaia Simon and Lydia Williams and Matildas’ teammates famously posed with Aboriginal flags before kickoff of the group’s first match against New Zealand at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

A woman in a teal polo shirt with her arms crossed in front of a yellow background

Kaya Simon said she was happy to see her family in the stands with Aboriginal flags. sauce: AAP

Some in the Matilda family have previously said that a defining moment in their childhood was when Kathy Freeman draped the Aboriginal flag around her neck at Stadium Australia after winning the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

The game’s governing body has already confirmed that one of the eight armbands captains will be able to wear at this month’s tournament is the red “Unity for the Indigenous Peoples” option.

Kathy Freeman in a green running suit raises the Aboriginal and Australian flags on a track and field stadium

Kathy Freeman holding the Australian and Aboriginal flags after winning gold in the 400 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. sauce: AAP / Dean Lewins

Simon, who is a member of the FA’s National Indigenous Advisory Group, would not specifically say what he expects from the stadium, considering FIFA is still working to resolve the situation.

But the 32-year-old, a proud Anaiwan woman who fought back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament to qualify for the World Cup in her home country, was delighted to see her family in the stands holding an Aboriginal flag. There was also
“For me, naturally, I am proud of the culture and the indigenous people of this country,” Simon told reporters on Monday.

“At every major tournament my family brought me an Aboriginal flag. It’s so close to see you’re home to me.

“There is no better place to showcase Indigenous Indigenous culture and traditions than here in our homeland of Australia. I hope that you will also get an education along the way.” ”

Football Australia welcomed the news of the Indigenous armbands and said a decision on the flag was expected this week.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/first-nations-flags-to-fly-at-the-fifa-womens-world-cup-in-historic-first/agsqrdicq FIFA Women’s World Cup: Indigenous flag hoisted for first time in history

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