Australia gets government support for 2018 World Cup bid

December 10th, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 10 (DPA) Australia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup looked better Wednesday with the government putting up $45 million dollars (Australian) to pay for campaigning. “This announcement today shows to the entire football world we are very serious in our commitment,” Sports Minister Kate Ellis said.

Football Federation of Australia chairman Frank Lowy is spearheading a bid that many say is doomed to fail.

FIFA president Joseph Blatter, speaking in Australia earlier this year, said the tournament would likely return to the northern hemisphere after being played in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.

“Australia is also in the southern hemisphere - if I’m not wrong” Blatter said at the close of the FIFA Congress in Sydney. “It’s a logical approach that the World Cup 2018 competition would go back to the (northern) continent.”

Mexico, the United States, England, Spain, Russia, China, Japan Qatar and Holland/Belgium have also revealed hosting aspirations.

FIFA has argued that bids should be placed for both the 2018 and 2022 contests with both decision made by June 2011. “There are so many contenders,” Blatter said. “When the bidding opens, everybody should bid for both.”

Australia has qualified for the World Cup finals twice, in 1974 and 2006, and is hopeful of being in South Africa in 2010.

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