Who’s excited about the FIFA Women’s World Cup? If you’re any bit like me you are watching every bit of footage that you can. It is just permanently on in my house. I’m a dual citizen of Australia and the United States so I have two squads to cheer for. However, with Australia and New Zealand as co-hosts, I want the Matildas to take home the cup. This is the first time Australia has hosted the event. I get off the couch every time a goal is scored, a post is hit, offsides has been called or a tackle was timed to perfection. I was devastated, along with the rest of our nation, to receive news of Sam Kerr’s (Australia’s captain) injured calf.
The Women’s World Cup will feature 32 nations and there are several dominant news stories surrounding the cup. One is the record-breaking crowds, with over 75,000 people attending the Ireland vs. Australia match in Sydney. That goes down as the biggest crowd for over 20 years for a women’s football match in the world. Another storyline is the disparity between men’s and women’s prize pool. Just last year in Qatar, the Argentinian men’s team took home 42 million as the champion. This year the winning female team will collect just over 4 million. One narrative is the USA team is chasing their third straight World Cup victory, if successful they will be the first ever football nation, male or female, to claim the trophy for a record three consecutive times.
I’ll tell you a story that is not told in the media, in some competing countries it is extremely dangerous to be a Christian. Did you know that in Nigeria, fourteen Christians are killed every day? In China, it is illegal for under 18s to attend Church. In Columbia, Churches are targeted daily because of their outspoken attitude toward violence and political corruption. In Vietnam, Christian homes are destroyed and individuals are forced out of their home villages after turning to Jesus. And in Morocco, it is against the law to ‘shake the faith of a Muslim’ so Christians must be especially cautious discussing their beliefs. So, you know what I’m doing during the World Cup? Praying against religious persecution in these countries and for opportunities for travelling footballers to explore Christianity. I’m also cheering on the green and gold, Go Matildas!!!
I sometimes forget we are so lucky to live in Australia. Your children are so privileged to come to Glasshouse Christian College, to learn, to have the freedom to explore faith, and to play football (aka soccer)
Pastor Syd Moore, Lead Pastor