Jun 15, 2009


Australian football officials launched their bid Sunday to host either the World Cup in 2018 or 2022, saying they felt it was a realistic goal.

"Hosting the World Cup would provide Australia with an unparalleled opportunity and give Australia a lasting and living legacy for generations to come," Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy told the bid launch at Parliament House, the country's seat of government.

"On the world stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the FIFA World Cup."

Lowy was joined by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Socceroos Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill.

Australian officials estimate a World Cup in Australia would generate US$3 billion in direct expenditure from items including tickets, accommodation and meals, and 4.7 million spectators.

Lowy said that the cumulative global television audience at the 2006 World Cup was 26.2 billion with the single largest audience group coming from the Asian Football Confederation, of which Australia is a member.

The launch also unveiled a Web site for Australia's bid at www.australia2018-2022.com.au.

The 11 official candidates for the 2018 or 2022 World Cups are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, South Korea and United States, plus joint bids from Belgium-Netherlands and Spain-Portugal.

Qatar and South Korea have applied only for the 2022 finals, while the other nine candidates are in both races.

FIFA will select the two winning bids in December 2010.

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