Australian football participation reaches record level despite $500 million funding gap

Some mixed news for Australian football

Football Federation Australia have revealed more people than ever are playing with the round ball as participation rates across the country rose by 13 per cent over the past year.

A football census run by the FFA found more than 1.8 million Australians are now participating in football - a record number for the game Down Under.

That rise comes despite an audit also conducted by the FFA in conjunction with member federations uncovered a $500 million funding gap for football facilities across the country.

Though participation numbers are rising, government funding for football has remained notably behind other major sports in the country. 

A report by The Daily Telegraph earlier this week uncovered that football receives just $37 of government funding per participant while each rugby participant gets $113, NRL $110, AFL $109 and cricket $55.

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FFA CEO David Gallop stressing more funding is needed to ensure the round ball game can continue to grow in Australia. 

“We are calling on government to join with us to deliver improved facilities and programs which can help improve participation even further, drive gender equality, integrate new communities and deliver strong preventative health outcomes," Gallop said.

New South Wales currently leads the way for football participation in Australia with 939,897 people from the state involved in the game.