Australia’s bid for FIFA World Cup gets a boostDecember 25th, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Dec 25 (IANS) Australia’s hope to bid for the 2018 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup received a boost with the government saying that it will control the key elements of the bid and establishing a taskforce to sort out problems that have dogged Australia’s push to host the largest event in world sport
Minister for Sport Kate Ellis announced Thursday the formation of the taskforce, to be based within her department and staffed by key bureaucrats.
But Ellis maintained that setting up a taskforce doesn’t mean that the government is trying for a partial takeover of Australia’s bid. The government’s decision comes after a tumultuous fortnight in which Australian Football League (AFL), which runs rules football, and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have aired a series of misgivings about the way the bid is being conducted.
Australia’s case is being prepared by an in-house team from Football Federation Australia (FFA) led by chief executive Ben Buckley.
The new taskforce set-up by the government will sort out stadium issues and negotiating funding deals between the two tiers of government as well as repairing relations between the FFA and other associations.
“One of the strengths of Australia is the diversity of sports on offer. It’s critical that other sports are consulted as we finalise the bid,” Ellis was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The taskforce will assist the FFA to work with all sports to ensure that an Australian World Cup can deliver maximum benefit to sport and the community,” she added.
The AFL and ARU have complained that they have not been sufficiently consulted about the impact an Australia-hosted World Cup would have on their competitions. The bid has also struck trouble finding the 12 FIFA-compliant stadiums needed to host the tournament, as state and federal governments tussle over who will fund the needed stadium upgrades.
The Federal Government has committed $45.6 million to funding the bid and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been an enthusiastic backer of the campaign.
–Indo-Asia News Service
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