Gianni Infantino, right, met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday ©Football Australia

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has labelled the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup the "best ever" during a visit to Australian capital Canberra before the group stages have been completed. 

The tournament is being hosted in Australia and New Zealand with the pool phase scheduled to finish today.

The Swiss-Italian administrator grabbed headlines when he left the tournament after a week to the Pacific Islands before returning to watch Australia beat Canada 4-0 on Monday (July 31).

The 53-year-old flew to meet with Oceania Football Confederation Member Associations.

In stark contrast, Infantino was based in Qatar in the lead up to 2022 men's World Cup, which FIFA said was "in order to deliver his Presidential duties and be closer to the FIFA World Cup".

Infantino has met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese along with Football Australia chair Chris Nikou and chief executive James Johnson.

Discussions were held on the "unprecedented success" of the tournament, with Football Australia claiming 1.8 million ticket sales across the host nations and dubbing it as the "most successful" FIFA Women's World Cup ever held.

The Women's World Cup Trophy made it to the Australian Parliament House following the meeting, with Infantino thanking Australia for the success of the tournament.

"Football is so important for society, for inclusion, for the community, for economic growth, for physical health, for mental health and for happiness," Infantino said.

"It is important for children because through football and playing football, they learn.

"They learn how to play as a team, how to count on the team-mates, how to win, but also how to lose. 

"And, most importantly, how to get up after defeat and go for the next game that we want to win, which is what happened to the Matildas.

"After defeat they all endured, and the whole country concentrated on the next game because you wanted to win that next game.

 "This tournament is a great event, and you are all really fantastic – a proud country, a country with a rich, rich history, a country which has put up the best FIFA Women’s World Cup ever.

"Thank you for having us here, for everything you do for football, for your children, for your girls, for your boys, in this beautiful country.

"And, thank you for uniting the entire world here in Australia and in New Zealand."

Nikou emphasised on how the tournament will help shape the society in Australia, with focus on gender equality and diversity.

Johnson, meanwhile, called for more investment into facilities in Australia and opportunities to host global events and added that the legacy of the tournament will have a lasting impact.

"This FIFA Women’s World Cup has proven that we can turn dreams into reality," Johnson said.

"Envision the social and health benefits that would flow with 400,000 more women and girls playing the game.

"This is the aspiration driving our Legacy '23 initiative, and with record viewership and national broadcast reach for our CommBank Matildas’ victories, it's clear we're on the right path.

"Monday night’s CommBank Matildas’ victory over Canada, was the most watched programme on the Seven network in 2023 with a national broadcast reach of 4.71 million. 

"We are witnessing a landmark moment in the history of football not just for Australia and New Zealand but for the world at large.

"This tournament has proven the game's far-reaching appeal, underpinned by its power to unite people across age groups and backgrounds.

"Our journey is only beginning. We are committed to creating an environment that bolsters the growth of women’s football, fosters inclusivity, and nurtures an enduring passion for the game."