Australian PM supports FIFA World Cup bid

February 24th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Feb 24 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has thrown his weight behind the country’s bid to host the 2018 football World Cup with the government announcing that it would help fund the campaign. Rudd however cautioned that Australia would face a difficult challenge convincing soccer’s power brokers to award them the tournament but added that the government was prepared to offer financial support.

“Winning the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup is a Herculean task but overcoming tough odds is what Australian football does best,” Rudd said in a statement published in Australian newspapers Sunday.

“For an Australian World Cup bid to be successful, the FFA (Football Federation Australia) will need the full and united support of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.

“A bid to host the 2018 World Cup is a natural follow-on from the brilliant performance of the Socceroos at the 2006 World Cup and the success of the (domestic) A-League,” he said.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said hosting the World Cup would bring major economic benefits to the whole country.

“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,” Lowy said.

“To realise these benefits, there is also need for investment and that is why we welcome the government’s support,” he said.

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