The latest audit of football participation in Australia shows that 1.96 million Australians are actively involved in the game as a player, coach or match official.
The participation number is a 13% increase on a previous survey in 2010, which tallied 1.7 million people involved with the game.
FFA CEO David Gallop said the latest figures shows that football is growing strongly at the community level and providing a vibrant base for the Hyundai A-League and Australia’s national teams.
“The game’s simple beauty and reliance on skill rather than collisions makes it a natural choice for so many people in so many places,” said Gallop.
“It’s the popular game for boys, girls, old and young, who are playing outdoor, indoor, in parks and fields and in clubs and schools. Football is flourishing across the Australian community and we’re delighted.”
The gemba Active Sports Participation study (gASP), which surveys the Australian population between the age of 5 and 75, reveals that 960,000 people participate in organised football competitions, while another 1 million play in social, recreational and semi-organised ways.
“The survey result confirms that football retains its status as the no. 1 team participation sport in Australia,” said Gallop.
“Football has always had a huge playing base, but now the popularity is spilling over to the attendances, TV ratings and digital audiences for the Hyundai A-League and the Socceroos.
“Today, the powerful idea that football could become Australia’s biggest and most popular sport overall is no longer just a dream. It’s starting to happen in significant steps forward.”