Australia World Cup infrastructure to cost Oz dollars 2.8 billion

Sydney: Australia will spend Australian dollars 2.8 billion (Australian dollars 2.48 billion) on infrastructure if it wins the right to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups, national soccer governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Saturday.

Three new stadiums would be built in Perth, Canberra and Blacktown in Sydney’s western suburbs, while nine venues in other cities would be upgraded, the FFA said in a statement.

“The infrastructure investment will leave a legacy to all sporting codes in the nation before and after the FIFA World Cup for generations to come,” FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said.

Australia is competing for both World Cups with England, Russia, the United States, Japan and joint bids from the Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. South Korea, who co-hosted 2002 with Japan, and Qatar are bidding for 2022.

Australia joined other nations’ delegations in handing over their bid book to world governing body FIFA on Friday, only days after striking a government-brokered deal with rival football codes over access to key stadia.

Compensation for the rival codes, who have long-standing leases with some of the stadiums but have agreed to vacate them for up to 10 weeks should Australia’s bid be successful, could cost organisers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Australia’s projected World Cup bill is still cheaper than Qatar’s $4 billion budget and the construction work less arduous than that for Russia, which has promised 10 brand new stadiums.

While most bid-watchers expect the World Cup to return to Europe in 2018, Australia, which has pitched itself as a passionate sporting nation and a capable event manager, is seen as a good chance to clinch the 2022 tournament.

Bureau Report

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