LOOK: NZ and AU Embassies Send Off Filipinas for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
Jun 9, 2023   •   Lauren Sason
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jun 9, 2023   •   Lauren Sason
The New Zealand Embassy and Australian Embassy came together to host a well-attended pre-departure event for Team Filipinas last night, June 8, at the New Zealand Official Residence. Together with esteemed guests and dignitaries, they sent off the Philippines’ women’s football team as they embark on their journey to the highly anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
This is the first time a Filipino team has qualified to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is the ultimate international women’s football tournament held every four years.
The 2023 edition will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, and will feature 32 of the top teams from around the world as they compete for the most-coveted and prestigious championship title. This tournament showcases not only the exceptional talents and skills of athletes, but it also serves as a platform to empower women and promote gender equality in sports.
Representing the Women’s National Team were Hali Long, co-captain of the Filipinas, and goalkeeper Inna Palacios. Both expressed gratitude for the tremendous support from everyone present.
“Iniimbita ko lahat ng Pilipino na samahan kami sa paglalakbay namin papuntang World Cup at sabay-sabay natin kantahin ang ating pambansang awit for the first time in such a big tournament like this,” said Palacios.
Long and Palacios will be flying to Australia on June 10, 2023 to train with the rest of the Women’s National Football Team.
@8list.ph Here’s what happened at the pre-departure event hosted by New Zealand and Australian Embassies at the New Zealand Official Residence to bid farewell to #TeamFilipinas as they embark on their #FIFAWomensWorldCup2023 journey. ⚽️ #fifaworldcup #fifaworldcup #football #footballtiktok #8listph #fyp #foryou ♬ Neon Bass
Leading the event in high spirits was Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Tim Given from the New Zealand Embassy, as well as Australian Counsellor and Acting Deputy Head of Mission Thanh Le. The two dignitaries conveyed heartfelt messages to the team, emphasizing how the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie united nations in the beautiful game of football. Also attending the event was Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta, EU Ambassador H.E. Luc Veron, Argentinian Chargé d’Affaires a.i Andrea Repetti, and Norwegian Consul Frank Johansen.
Celebratory toasts were given by Given and Le, symbolizing the shared enthusiasm and support between the three countries: New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines, for this event. The combined efforts of the New Zealand and Australian Embassies, as well as the PFF, in organizing this memorable send-off event aim to showcase unwavering support in promoting women’s football and fostering strong bilateral ties through sports diplomacy.
“Success is the final point of hours of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and making it to the World Cup is an awesome achievement. It is a testament to the Filipino spirit, unity, and sportsmanship,” Given noted, “Proud kaming lahat sa inyo at may kumpansya kami na bibigyan niyo ng matinding laban ang New Zealand Football Ferns!”
Given also acknowledged the dedication of the coaches, staff, and support personnel in nurturing their athletes’ talents. New Zealand’s Chargé d’Affaires also said that he hopes the Filipinas will “take this opportunity to immerse [themselves] in [our] Kiwi traditions and build bridges of friendship that will last a lifetime”.
Meanwhile, Le stated that “Like Filipinos, Australians love sport. We value inclusiveness, teamwork, and a fair fo in sport. We need more successes for women in sports and we celebrate the success of the Filipinas as they take a huge step in next month’s competition at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This achievement will serve as an inspiration for many young athletes.”
Le also expressed excitement in seeing the competition, and hopes to see the Filipinas playing in Australia. The Deputy Head of Mission for Australia even joked that they will “cheer on anyone playing against New Zealand”, a playful nod at the friendly rivalry between the two nations.
The Filipinas will play their first match against the Football Ferns at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand on July 25, 2023.
“Thank you all for your support and love and appreciation along this journey,” said Long. “It does not go unnoticed. Please continue to root for us, support us, pray for us, and send us your love.”
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