Australia is likely to host 2022 World Cup, media reports

16:10, June 10, 2010      

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Australia has been firming as the likely winner of 2022 World Cup bid, as Football Federation Australia (FFA) is now more confident of securing FIFA's support to host the tournament than ever before, Australia's media reported on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian in Johannesburg, where FFA chairman Frank Lowy was lobbying FIFA, Lowy said the feedback he was getting about Australia's campaign for the 2018-2022 World Cups was even more positive than at last December's acclaimed formal presentation in Cape Town.

Lowy also revealed that he was keeping open the option of narrowing the bid to just one of those World Cups 2022 to maximize the chances of victory.

"We are gaining ground," Lowy told The Australian on Wednesday.

"I am talking to the people that matter and I hear what they say. I hear their sentiments and I am hearing some very good sentiments about Australia."

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter said Europe has been expected to host the 2018 tournament, and England was the clear favorite from Russia and joint bids by the Netherlands-Belgium, and Spain and Portugal.

All four have also been bidding for 2022 but will be ineligible if one of them hosts 2018, making 2022 a five-way race between Australia, Qatar, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

But each of the past three have recently hosted World Cups, the U.S. in 1994 and Japan-South Korea jointly in 2002.

Lowy said the main reason for Australia's strong showing was its appeal as a nation.

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