FIFA and Steffi Jones to start Welcome Tour in Australia
© Getty Images

Host country Germany and the international promotion of women’s football will take centre stage as FIFA and the Local Organising Committee embark on their Welcome Tour to the other 15 countries participating in next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™, starting in Sydney next Wednesday, 8 December 2010.

A FIFA delegation headed by Tatjana Haenni, FIFA Head of Women’s Football Competitions, in conjunction with the Football Federation Australia (FFA), will present the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™ to invited representatives of the Australian football family and promote women’s football development. LOC President Steffi Jones will then greet around 150 guests from the worlds of sport, politics and media at a countdown event in the Westin Grand Hotel in Sydney.

“This Welcome Tour is a fantastic opportunity to promote the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ and women’s football in general worldwide,” said Tatjana Haenni. “The best female players in the planet will display their skills in Germany next summer, inspiring a new generation of girls and women to get involved. FIFA and the LOC are happy to join forces to spread the word.

“This Welcome Tour is the ideal platform for Germany to cement its reputation as an open and hospitable host for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. It also gives us the chance to support the various associations with the continued development of women’s football around the world,” said Jones, who, along with her delegation, will travel around 120,000 kilometres during the course of the tour.

“I’m delighted to be starting the tour in Sydney. The teams from Asia were the first to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, with Australia winning the section. Through last Monday’s official draw and the Welcome Tour, we are truly kicking off our international promotion activities on the road to 2011. It’s also something special to start this project in the same place where Franz Beckenbauer concluded his Welcome Tour in the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™,” added the LOC President.

The Welcome Tour continues on Friday, 10 December at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, where various representatives from the New Zealand Football Association and the worlds of sports and politics, including Steve Sumner, captain of the All Whites at the 1982 FIFA World Cup™ are expected to attend.