Kanga Cup highlights football in Australia's capital

Football is the fashionable sport in Australia's capital city, Canberra. With the Socceroos playing Oman tonight in their opening Asian Cup match , Capital Football's own international youth tournament, the Kanga Cup, will kick-off today with more than 3000 junior players from Australia and overseas - including the Providence Gujarat FC from India through the Asian Fellowship scheme,.

According to Merryn Sherwood, soccer is Canberra's number one participation sport. Capital Football's participation numbers have increased at a rate of 13 percent over the past two years and in 2007 there are more than 16,000 registered players in men's, women's, junior and futsal leagues in Canberra. It almost triples the number of juniors in rugby league and union with more than 11,000 in 2007 and it has the largest number of women in any football code in Canberra.

Kanga Cup ambassador and Matildas midfielder Sally Shippard identified four contributing to soccer's continuing popularity in Canberra: the Socceroos at the FIFA World Cup 2006, acceptance in the Asia region, the new A-league and local strategies to unify the game, including a restructure of the men's premier league, and the ability to lower registration fees from 2006 to 2007.