Embarrassing moment Football Australia boss James Johnson gets brushed by Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson straight after the Aussies’ World Cup loss to England
- James Johnson made his way onto Stadium Australia
- Made a bee-line for Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson
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Football Australia boss James Johnson was left red-faced following an awkward exchange with Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson on Wednesday night in Sydney.
England ended Australia’s World Cup dreams with a 3-1 win at Stadium Australia, with Sam Kerr and her teammates left to ponder what might have been.
And not long after the final whistle, Johnson – wearing a green and gold scarf over his corporate suit – made his way onto the pitch.
He made a bee-line for Gustavsson, and the pair shook hands.
Johnson eagerly gazed into the Swede’s eyes, but Gustavsson looked like he would rather be anywhere else, quickly turning his back and seeming to look for an avenue to escape.
Football Australia boss James Johnson made a bee-line for Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson on Wednesday night in Sydney (pictured) straight after the World Cup semi-final defeat
Gustavsson shook Johnson’s hand, but also appeared to be uncomfortable and eager to break away to see to his players (pictured)
The Swedish coach made a quick exit from his get-together with one of the most powerful people in Australian football – who looked keen to continue their conversation
Gustavsson’s focus is now getting his side for the World Cup bronze medal clash against Sweden in Brisbane on Saturday.
‘I know we are emotional, but we have no time to dwell on this one. We have a game to play. We need to be ready,’ he said.
‘I’m going to be honest, I hope that it would have been the final, both for Sweden and us. But now it’s a bronze medal game and we need to [make] the most of that.’
Meanwhile, Matildas captain Sam Kerr has called for football to receive its fair share of funding to capitalise on Australia’s golden Women’s World Cup run.
The Matildas took the nation by storm, shattering TV records, enjoying sellout crowds and filling out live sites around the country as they progressed to the semi-final for the first time.
On Channel Seven and 7plus, broadcast of their last-four clash with England reached 11.15 million people and had a national average audience of 7.13 million, making it the most-watched TV program since the OzTAM audience-measurement system began in 2001.
Despite Wednesday night’s shattering 3-1 loss, Kerr – who scored an extraordinary solo goal to put the result in doubt with 27 minutes remaining – was looking forward.
A massive participation sport in Australia, football has traditionally struggled to cut through at the professional level – or land the type of funding given to the AFL and NRL.
Sam Kerr scored arguably the goal of the World Cup, but couldn’t guide Australia to victory – and at fulltime she called for increased funding into football
Veteran midfielder Katrina Gorry has urged Aussie sports fans not to ‘jump off the bandwagon’ post the World Cup
‘I can only speak for the Matildas. We need funding in our development. We need funding in our grassroots. We need funding. We need funding everywhere,’ Kerr said.
‘The comparison to other sports isn’t really good enough.
‘Hopefully this tournament changes that, because that’s the legacy you leave – not what you do on the pitch. The legacy is what you do off the pitch.’
Vice-captain Steph Catley echoed Kerr’s words and hoped the World Cup could prove ‘just the beginning’ for women’s football in Australia.
Midfielder Katrina Gorry also had a message for fans – don’t desert women’s football after the World Cup.
‘It’s been absolutely incredible to be on home soil for a World Cup,’ Gorry said.
‘The supporters that have been with us from day one, and the shift in Australian football has just been incredible.
‘Australia, we love you. I hope we’ve made you proud. ‘Don’t jump off the bandwagon now, keep on coming.’