Aussies interested in ’22 if re-vote taken
Australia’s sports minister says the country would be interested in making another bid for the 2022 World Cup if the hosting rights are re-contested following allegations of corruption in FIFA’s voting process.
The Australian government spent $45 million and received just one vote. Qatar was granted hosting rights, but growing corruption claims have raised the remote prospect of last December’s poll being re-run.
Sports Minister Mark Arbib was quoted to say Saturday that ”we were disappointed not to win the right … and believe if given the chance we could put on the best-ever World Cup.”
Two FIFA executive members from Africa were alleged to have taken bribes of $1.5 million each to vote for Qatar.
Responding to the allegations, FIFA president Sepp Blatter raised the prospect of an ”alarming,” although still unlikely, 2022 rerun if it was proven that high-level corruption helped Qatar secure the event.
Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea were the rival bidders.
”We shouldn’t get carried away with these early comments,” Arbib added. ”The government welcomes FIFA’s decision to fully investigate the allegations.”
Football Federation Australia remained noncommittal in a statement.
”If and when FIFA makes a decision about a review, FFA will make a decision on what’s best for Australian football,” the statement said. ”Until then, it remains a hypothetical question and FFA won’t pre-empt the deliberations of FIFA.”