Australia drops 2018 Bid

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After several months of dialogue with FIFA and members of its Executive Committee, FFA Chairman Frank Lowy, AC, and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke have issued a joint statement pertaining to Australia's Bid for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) in a joint statement with FIFA, announced that it will focus its bidding campaign on 2022. The decision, which was coordinated with European Executive Committee members, has been welcome by FIFA, whose CEO Jerome Valcke said: " The FFA and my office as well as the FIFA president have been in constant dialogue about Australia's bidding intentions since last autumn. The FFA have displayed an exemplary level of solidarity with Europe and the European Bidding Nations and were among the very first to enter into an open and constructive dialogue with me after it became apparent that there was a growing movement to stage the 2018 World Cup in Europe. Their announcement of today therefore, to henceforth focus solely on bidding for the 2022 World Cup, is a welcome gesture that is much appreciated by FIFA's leadership and Executive Committee. We wish to thank Mr Lowy, the FFA and the Australian Government for allowing the 2018 vote to focus on a European bidding nation" . Lowy confirmed FFA's decision to withdraw from the 2018 bid and concentrate on 2022. He said: " We have been in discussion with FIFA for months and it is that trusting relationship with the leadership of the governing body that has caused us to focus on 2022 and decide to leave the field for 2018 to European contenders. The FFA's decision was in planning since October 2009 and its leadership, after careful consideration and analysis, has now decided to focus its bidding on 2022. "The news is bound to heap further pressure on the US' 2018 bid as it is now the only non–European country in the running for the tournament. The US is bidding for both 2018 and 2022 alongside England and Russia while there are joint bids from the Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. Australia will now enter the running for 2022 only, along with Japan, Qatar and South Korea.

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