SYDNEY - Australia's failure to secure
the 2022 World Cup - awarded to Qatar on Thursday - will in
no way stunt the growth of football in Australia, the domestic
league's chief said on Friday.
A-League boss Lyall Gorman said that to have won the
staging rights would have been a "turbo charge" for the league
but that he was still confident Australian football would not
lose momentum and that publicity generated by the unsuccessful
bid could attract new fans to the sport.
"It's brought a focus on our game," Gorman told news
agency AAP. "There's not a person I've come across in
Australia that's not aware of the World Cup bid and the
"So in terms of taking away momentum, it's just put a
tremendous focus on our game which is healthy."
Leading politicians voiced their disappointment at the
results of the votes at the Zurich headquarters of world football's governing body where FIFA awarded the 2018 tournament
to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar.
"I think everybody is disappointed and those who worked so
hard on what was a great bid were very disappointed," Prime
Minister Julia Gillard told reporters in Brisbane.
Federal opposition leader Tony Abbot said: "I think our
bid deserved a better reception than it was given.
"We are very good at hosting these big sporting events. We
would have run a really classy football World Cup. We now
won't get that chance, at least not before the next round of
Australia had been bidding with eventual winners Qatar,
Japan, South Korea and the United States, but were eliminated
in the first round with just one vote from the 22 FIFA
executive committee members.
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