Buckley has eyes on 2018 World Cup bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buckley has eyes on 2018 World Cup bid

By Daniel Brettig 05/06/2010 01:20:34 PM Comments (0)

Alongside the 23 players fighting for Australia on the football pitch at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a 24th will be competing in the VIP enclosures, hotels and meeting rooms of the rainbow nation.

Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley departs for the tournament shortly, determined to use the assembly of world football's glitterati to lobby furiously for FIFA backers when the time comes to vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Just as the tournament is a rare opportunity for any player to show his worth to the world, Buckley, his chairman Frank Lowy and fellow FFA dignitaries will be truly earning their salaries among the suits and ties of global football associations.

Prior to his departure, Buckley was at pains to emphasise the focus would be on the Socceroos players, but acknowledged the usefulness of his own trip to Africa.

"First and foremost the World Cup is about the competition, and the 32 teams that have made the finals of the World Cup. And we're there, the Socceroos are there to be competitive, and that's where our priority is and where our focus will be," he said.

"Having said that, of course there's an opportunity to meet with people and continue to push our case for why Australia would be an outstanding host for a future World Cup."

Buckley and the FFA have the opportunity to keep Australia in the minds of FIFA officials with the promise of a four club pre-season tournament in Sydney immediately after the cup's conclusion.

Though dreamed up by local promoters independently of the game's governing body, the Sydney Festival of Football has become a handy way to show off the strength of the game's infrastructure in NSW, which would host the lion's share of matches in any successful cup bid.

"It's a good platform for us to promote our World Cup bid, we'll be working with Events NSW and the NSW government and the local promoters to do that," said Buckley.

"I think it demonstrates our international reputation is growing.

"To attract the calibre of teams that are coming over shows Australia's standing in the wider football community is growing all the time."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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