<meta name="ProgId" content="Word.
Document”>Football Federation Australia boss Frank Lowy and Governor-General Quentin Bryce have continued Australia’s attempts to woo powerbrokers by meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Atthe sporting body’s headquarters ahead of the decision who will host the 2022 World Cup,
the shopping centre magnate said they had reinforced to Blatter Australia’s credentials to stage the event, just 48 hours before the vote.
“The Governor-General made the point and the Sports Minister (Mark Arbib) made the point and I chimed in a little bit here and there to say the whole country is behind the exercise,” he said.
“If we get it, we will make it as good a World Cup as has ever been before.”
The bid team hopes Australia’s geographic location will actually count in its favour.
The Lowy-led team put forward a study to argue against the belief that hosting the event would lead to a loss in European TV ratings. The study finds that Asia’s GDP will double well before 2022, and China’s and India’s growing middle-class will be four times the size of the US by the time the cup rolls around.
“Can you imagine? if you look at the growth of Asia. Japan, China, India and the rest of the countries in the last 10 years,” he said
“I don’t want to give you a lesson in economics but I can tell you that if 2022 goes to Australia it will be very profitable, especially for FIFA.
They hope the 23 men who decide the venue for the world’s biggest sporting spectacle were listening to the presentation.
With time-zoning and geographic isolation arguments, and corruption allegations against FIFA officials aired by BBC’s Panorama program, the 2022 race has had its share of drama.
The other major obstacle facing Lowy and his entourage is the loss of the crucial vote in the the form of Oceania chief Reynald Temarii.
Temarii has decided to press on with his appeal against a one-year suspension handed by FIFA for ethics violations and says he’s yet to be told exactly what he’s been punished for.
He strongly protested his innocence in regards to claims in a vote-buying sting by London broadsheet, The Sunday Times, that he asked a reporter posing as a lobbyist for NZ$3m to fund a sports academy.
It had looked like Temarii would sacrifice himself on Monday with Australia’s bid leader Frank Lowy appearing confident that Oceania would be handed back its vote.
But the Australian team’s confidence dipped on yesterday before Temarii, who is understood to be in New Zealand, made his position public.
“It is awkward but we are not in charge of the awkwardness .. we are a participant,” said Lowy on Tuesday afternoon.
“We are just at work doing our best to make sure that as many friends as we can have on the executive committee will be voting for us.”
Lowy then said that he will be hoping he does not have any resonance later this week.
“I sincerely hope it will not depend on one vote,” he said.
England, Russia and joint bids by Spain-Portugal and Netherlands-Belgium are in the running to host the 2018 World Cup.
Australia, the United States, Japan, Qatar and South Korea are bidding for 2022.