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Government backs Aussie bid for 2018 World Cup

Latest update : 2008-02-24

The Australian Government said Sunday it will formally support the country's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd leading the tilt for football's premier event.

The Australian Government said Sunday it will formally support the country's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd leading the tilt for football's premier event.
  
Rudd said it will be a Herculean task for Football Federation Australia to win the right to host the 2018 event against rival bids from Mexico, USA, England, Spain/Portugal, The Netherlands/Belgium, Russia, China and Japan.
  
"For an Australian World Cup bid to be successful the FFA will need the full and united support of the commonwealth and state and territory governments,"  Rudd said in a statement.
  
Australia's premier promised to put the bid on the agenda for next month's Council of Australian Governments meeting of federal, state and territory leaders.
  
"As the host country for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is likely to be announced in 2011, the government is keen to see Australia's bid kick off as soon as possible," he said.
  
"Representatives of the FFA will meet with senior Australian government officials in the next week to begin planning the bid."
  
The cost of vying for the event will be shared between the federal, state and territory governments and the FFA, he said.
  
FFA Chairman Frank Lowy welcomed the Prime Minister's commitment to support the FFA's 2018 tilt, saying recent changes to FIFA's rotation policy for awarding of the World Cup gave Australia the opportunity to submit a bid which would not previously have been possible.
  
"Key to our success in bringing these significant events to Australia is that it is a 'whole of Australia' bid and that it has the explicit support of all Australian governments," Lowy said in a statement.
  
Lowy said the impact of hosting the World Cup would be both very beneficial to Australia and of historic importance in framing Australia's place in the world.
  
"Apart from the benefits for the sport, there are also significant benefits for the nation in terms of economic impact, international prestige and contribution to nation building and social inclusion," he said.
  
Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been commissioned by FFA to undertake an audit of Australia's stadiums, accommodation, public transport, training facilities and other infrastructure with the findings expected in May.
  
Lowy has met with Rudd since the Labor government's national election victory last November, a spokesman said, to lobby him on the merits of hosting the World Cup, arguing it would help improve relations with Asian countries.
  
"In the same way Australia has developed a relationship with all levels of India by virtue of our common cricket interests, soccer -- which is the huge sport in every Asian country -- is an entree to promoting Australia's interests around the world," the spokesman for Lowy added.
  
FIFA president Joseph Blatter confirmed this month the 2018 hosts will be announced in April or May 2011.
  
The 2010 World Cup will be staged in South Africa while Brazil will host the 2014 event.

Date created : 2008-02-24

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