Football dares to dream Print E-mail
Written by Football Federation Australia   
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 11:13

Football Federation Australia (FFA) Chairman, Frank Lowy AC, said today that FFA could now "dare to dream" as he welcomed the Australian Government's $45.6 million in support for FFA's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"Hosting the World Cup would bring unprecedented benefit to Australia, to the Asian region and to football," said Mr Lowy.

"It will contribute to nation building by increasing economic activity and revenues to help provide a legacy of improved infrastructure and facilities across Australia."

An independent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the economic impact of Australia hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is a $5.3 billion increase in GDP and a cumulative employment effect of 74,000 jobs.

"Hosting a major international event such as the FIFA World Cup also brings other substantial benefits," Mr Lowy said.

These include:

  • adding to Australia's international prestige and reputation
  • the capacity to promote Australia's regions and cities
  • the potential to motivate children to participate in sport leading to long term improved health outcomes
  • promoting a healthy lifestyle
  • providing an impetus for initiating improved environmental practices, and
  • providing an impetus for the creation of cultural and social events.

"It also positions Australia as a 'can do' country which is terribly important in this century," Mr Lowy said.

He added that he believed Australia could win the bid.

"If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't ask the Government to support us for a pipedream.

"This is not an impossible dream. It is very achievable," said Mr Lowy.

"While I understand that there is a view emanating from Europe that it may well be the turn of Europe to be the hosts in 2018, the fact is football is a world game.

"Europe has unquestionably been the focus of football growth and development for much of the past 80 years, but the future of football is in the 'new world' – that is, the developing and growing regions of the world such as Asia."

Mr Lowy said that the Asian Football Confederation is the fastest growing region in world football, as well as the nations of Asia having very good long term economic prospects.

"Our focus is on 2018 because it is a powerful way to develop football in the Asian region and Australia has the capacity to host a major sporting event in this timeframe."

"Bidding for the World Cup, and winning it, is an investment which will pay dividends for the nation and future generations of Australians," Mr Lowy said.

The Australian Government has pledged $45.6 million over three years in support of the FFA's bid to bring the 2018 FIFA World Cup to Australia.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 11:47