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Australia's bid to host Soccer World Cup 2018

John O'Neill, Football Federation of Australia's chief executive, announced on the 21st July 2006 that would within the next fortnight officially announce whether it would bid to host Soccer World Cup 2018. "In the next couple of weeks the FFA will come out with a definitive statement, likely to be that we will bid for 2018. We deserve it, the one part of the world that's never hosted the World Cup, after South Africa has hosted in 2010, is the Pacific Basin. England has been mentioned as the other candidate for 2018 and there's a presumption that the tournament has to go back to Europe every third time, and that's why I'm conscious we have to have our eyes open. They will have good infrastructure, and they're a football nation, but we suffer nothing by comparison."

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter
October 2006

"If Australia was to take now one of the youth competitions of FIFA, this is something where Australians could attach themselves and help their chances of hosting the World Cup" (Sportal.com.au)

Australia is not a football nation
Michael Duffy
2 September 2006

"This is not a football nation, and the state premiers should think again about their support for holding the World Cup." Michael Duffy writing in the Sydney Morning Herald

All Australian Governments support the bid

South Australia's and New South Wales' state premiers made a joint submission to the 14th July 2006 meeting of the Council of Australian Governments, recommending that planning for a bid begin immediately.

On 14th July 2006, John Howard said that "All governments agreed enthusiastically that if the national body, the Football Federation of Australia, put in a bid for the 2018 World Cup, then all governments would support that bid, and support that bid very enthusiastically."

Stadiums

A host nation must have 10 stadiums, Australia has 8.

Clashes with AFL & NFL seasons

FIFA stipulates that all Soccer World Cups are played in June and July, which clashes with the AFL and NRL seasons. The reason this is a complication is that most of the AFL's grounds would have to be handed over to FIFA, as they require at least 10 major stadiums to run the month-long tournament. Options being considered includes a 4 or 5-week suspension of the AFL season.

Support of Asian Football Confederation & Sepp Blatter

"FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the Asian Football Confederation fully support Australia bidding as host," said John O'Neil, the president of the Football Federation of Australia

Cost of initial bid

The cost of the initial bid, outlining facilities and security measures, is estimated to be about $10 million.

2018 bid a stake in the ground for 2022

You've got to take the longer-term view and understand if we do miss out on 2018, there is a stake in the ground for 2022," Australian football chief John O'Neill told the National Press Club in Canberra on the 26th July 2006.

Matt Carroll (Football Federation Australia's head of operations)

14 July 2006

"We welcome the support of the Federal Government and the State Government - in order to bid for the FIFA World Cup you require that support. A careful strategy has to be mapped out, it's like bidding for the Olympic Games and in some ways it's bigger than that. Obviously our credentials through hosting the Sydney Olympics and Rugby World Cup 2003 are well known, but our credentials in the world of football, whilst they've been picked up through the Socceroos at the Germany World Cup, we still need to work hard to raise our profile, particularly in the Asian Football Confederation."

14 July 2006

"Hosting the Asian Cup would be very helpful," he said. "We couldn't go into a bid of the FIFA World Cup without the full support of our confederation, which is Asia. It's a mini-version of the FIFA World Cup. You get your credentials up in the football world and then you have a crack at the big one".

Paul Wade (Socceroo)

July 2006: "I'm glad we're putting our hands up because that shows everyone in Australia that soccer is really going berserk now," he said. "Everyone was bragging about how well Germany went, so could you imagine with our weather and our golden soil and wealth for toil, people will just fall in love with the World Cup and Australia again."

Justin Madden (Commonwealth Games Minister )

Commonwealth Games Minister Justin Madden believes Victoria would be the ideal place for the Soccer World Cup 2018 to be staged. Mr Madden suggested spreading the event over a variety of cities (as is being done in Germany for the 2006 World Cup) if Australia was to be successful in winning the hosting rights to the Cup.

Mike Rann (South Australian Premier)

South Australian Premier, Mike Rann, said Australia should bid for the 2014 World Cup on the basis "you to have to bid for the event in one year in order to establish your credentials for the next one". "I would like to see a national bid planning team formed to not only develop a bid but also the infrastructure, facilities and security planning to host the 2014 World Cup, if only to establish our credentials to secure the 2018 finals," he said. While 10 major stadiums would be required to host a tournament involving 32 teams and 64 games over 30 days, Australia already has eight stadiums ready to go in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, SA and WA."

Steve Bracks (Victorian Premier)
14 July 2006

"We have got a solid and strong case," he said. "It is going to be very competitive. I am quite happy with the objective assessment of where the final will be. When that's objectively assessed, there is no doubt it will be at the MCG in Melbourne. Where else could it be?"

June 2006

"If there was a World Cup to be held here we would play a significant part because of our major events capacity...Of course you'd want the major final to be played in Victoria....Where else would you play it but on the biggest stadium, in the biggest venue with the most number of people coming to the most number of events?''

Morris Iemma (New South Wales Premier)

On the 23rd June 2006 Premier Morris Iemma of New South Wales said "We have all been inspired by the Socceroos' sensational performance in Germany this morning against Croatia...The FIFA World Cup remains the biggest major international sporting event (that) Australia has never hosted, so a well planned bid is the natural next step." "(There's) no better place to host it than Homebush (Stadium Australia), given that's where we qualified for the World Cup in the first place after 32 years."

Peter Beattie (Queensland Premier)
July 2006

"All state premiers have a big love-in for the proposal to host the World Cup in Australia."

June 2006

"We will be part of the bid. We will be supportive of it at COAG and we expect to get our share of the games."

John o' Neil

"I continue to talk to the chairman, Frank and I get on very well, contrary to what some people might think, and we are talking about ways in which I might remain involved in the game. I am very keen … in what capacity we have not determined yet. The FFA is likely to bid for the Asian Cup in 2011. We also need to decide whether we will bid for the World Cup in 2018. It could be that I get involved in those kinds of exercises." September 2006, Football Federation Australia chief executive John O'Neill whose contract expires in March 2007.

Links
Asian Football Confederation
Football Federation of Australia
Football Federation South Australia
Oz Football
Wikipedia
Previous Soccer Competitions hosted

From the 16th July 2006 to the 30th July 2006 Australia hosted its first official Asian Football Confederation competition when the Asian Football Confederation women’s Asian Cup was played in Adelaide.

Popularity of Soccer in Australia

Soccer has struggled to gain popularity in Australia, with Australians being more interested in rugby, cricket, rugby league and Australian rules football. However, the Soccer World Cup 2006 transfixed fans across Australia.

Press References

22 September 2006

O'Neill not ready to cut ties with game

2 September 2006

Jig is up - give World Cup the boot

26 July 2006

Future Socceroos to come via 'system'

22 July 2006

Canberra Wades into bid for 2018 World Cup

21 July 2006

Australia to bid for Soccer World Cup

15 July 2006

Soccer World Cup 2018 bid gets political clout

23 June 2006

Australia plan to host Soccer World Cup 2018

23 June 2006

HeraldSun: Bracks back bid to host Soccer World Cup 2018

23 June 2006

The Age: Bracks back bid to host Soccer World Cup 2018

6 September 2005

Australia eyes Soccer World Cup 2018

We welcome input to improve our coverage of Australia's bid to host
Soccer World Cup 2018