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FIFA World Cup Bid Gets Stadium Boost

FIFA World Cup Bid Gets Stadium Boost
November 18, 2008

Australia's bid to win the rights to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been boosted by the news that stadia used by rugby league and AFL during their winter seasons will be made available for the event.

The inability to use stadia used by the AFL and NRL during the June and July period when the FIFA World Cup is staged had been seen as a major sticking point to the Australian bid - June and July falling in the middle of the AFL and NRL seasons. However, it is understood that the rival codes have offered compromise solutions including the MCG in Melbourne being used by for the FIFA World Cup with the Telstra Dome remaining in use for the AFL.

Under the plans, Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium and Sydney's ANZ Stadium as well as the Sydney Football Stadium will be used to host World Cup matches whilst Newcastle and the Gold Coast are also being considered as possible match hosts.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chief Executive, Ben Buckley, told reporters "we've put a fairly substantial submission forward to the Federal Government (and) there's work going on behind the scenes in terms of organisational planning, tactical planning, technical planning, so weâre very happy with where we're at."

Other countries set to bid for the tournament include China, England, Russia, United States, Spain, Qatar and Mexico, with a combined bid from the Netherlands and Belgium.

Buckley has also responded to an article by News Limited columnist Rebecca Wilson which suggested that the Hyundai A-League and football in general is "in crisis".

In response to Wilson's suggestion that Adelaide United had been "humiliated" in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League final Buckley commented that "I've always thought that a team which makes it to a final of a competition has actually performed very well."

Buckley went on to highlight FFA's many achievements including last year's release of the "the first ever national strategic framework for the development of the sport in this country" and the subsequent introduction of initiatives outlined in the plan; the upcoming expansion of the Hyundai A-League; the rebuilding of football from the grassroots up and its improved financial position (which he indicated the FFA will be announcing later this month); and the regular participation of over one million Australians in the sport.

Image: Suncorp Stadium


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