EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Football Crunch-time

  • November 30th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

wc-logo2.jpgIt is bated-breath time in Zurich this week as FIFA decides on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup rounds in Football – while the Matildas learn they’ll be kicking off against top teams at the women’s World Cup in June.


POWER GAMES IN ZURICH

The final run-up to the announcement of the two hosts this Thursday (2.12.10) has brought in a convention of grandees and lobbyists – government Ministers, sporting Greats and other worthies  – including England’s bridegroom-in-waiting Prince William,  (see EUAustralia Online, “Right Royal Carry-on”, 17.11.10).

Lined up for 2018: Joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, and Spain and Portugal, England and Russia.

Lined up for 2022: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and the United States.

Australia had put in bids for both years, but fell into step with a general warning-off of non-European teams for 2018, and cancelled that one last June.

Settling on a European location for 2018 finished off the former rotation system based on continents, dropped in 2007 by the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Bidders now can come from any country, provided that their continental Confederation did not get one of the last two World Cups.

That has led to this year’s tussle for 2022 across Asia and the Americas  – represented by the USA.

Money talks loudly in international Football.

The Australian bid with strong commercial sponsorship comes also with government commitments to support stadium developments running up to A$2.8-billion, (for new stadiums in Canberra, Perth and Sydney and refurbishment of nine others).

Another angle on money is the on-going corruption scandal, with three members of the FIFA executive, deciding body for the World Cup bids this week, publicly accused of bribery.

It will be a tough few days for FIFA convincing the world, and the losers in the expensive competition, that everything is very clean, as it needs to be.

ASIAN FOCUS

Asia has been step-by-step coming into its own as a region, both in quality of competition on the field and in terms of business – dollars, yuan and yen.

Australia accordingly has emphasised its prominent place as a competitor in the Asian zone, to back up its bid, pointing also to great success in handling major events, not least the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“The weight of the world is with Asia …”, said the Australian Football Federation President, Frank Lowy, launching the  campaign.

ASIA CUP WINNERS

matildas-reduced.jpgThat was no news to the victorious Matildas, the Australian women’s Football team, holders of the 2010 Asian Cup – the first international trophy to go to a team from Australia.

They won that in June, in China, also qualifying for the World Cup in Germany, in the coming European Summer.

They’ll be running on, nippers in tow, against Brazil on 29.6.11, at Moenchengladbach.

They’ve also drawn again against Norway and Equatorial Guinea in the opening round.

The young Brazilian team came out runners-up to Germany in the last World Cup, in 2007, with Norway fourth (after America); the Matildas that time getting into the semi-finals.

See EUAustralia Online: “More winners! Ole!”, 12.7.10; “Football: Another team, another World Cup in Germany”, 28.5.10; “Football: Australia’s ‘Asian’ claim”, 18.5.10.

Reference

ABC Grandstand Sport, Sydney, AAP, “Matildas draw Brazil in World Cup”, 30.11.10. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/30/3079965.htm?site=sport&section=football, (30.11.10).

BBC News, London, “Australia drops out of race to host 2018 World Cup”, 10.6.10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/8733913.stm, (30.11.10).

FIFA, Zurich, “Women’s World Cup”, (home). http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/index.html, (30.11.10).Football Federation of Australia, “Come Play! Help us bring the FIFA World Cup to Australia in 2022; Bidding Nation  Australia”. http://www.australiabid.com.au/our-bid.aspx, (30.11.10).

Wikipedia, SF, “World Cup Hosts”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup_hosts, (30.11.10).
Pictures

Australian bid logo; Matildas

Leave a Reply