Australia deserves to host World Cup, says Sepp Blatter
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has begun his re-election campaign by saying Australia deserves to host the World Cup for the first time.
London: FIFA President Sepp Blatter has begun his re-election campaign by saying Australia deserves to host the World Cup for the first time.
Australia received only vote when it bid to stage the 2022 tournament, with Qatar selected as the host country.
"Australia is the only continent never to have hosted the World Cup finals, although the 1981 and 1993 Under-20 World Cups took place there," Blatter wrote on Friday in his first column in FIFA Weekly magazine since confirming his bid to run for a fifth mandate in the presidential elections in May.
"That is basically an unfortunate omission in sporting history because very few countries boast such a rich sporting culture and long list of champions.
"Sport, with football in a central role, is a defining element in day-to-day life in Australia, not least for women and youths. The 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne and the 2000 edition in Sydney set new benchmarks for their eras.
"So we can say with confidence that it would be more than deserved if Australia were to stage the World Cup at some point," Blatter added of the country which is currently hosting the Asian Cup.
FIFA has not published the list of candidates running against Blatter in the election but former Portugal international Luis Figo announced on Friday that he had submitted his bid ahead of Thursday`s 2300GMT deadline.
Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and French duo Jerome Champagne and David Ginola were also expected to submit their nominations ahead of the deadline.