Interview with ABC Radio Current Affairs - Wednesday, 29 November 2009. Subjects: World Cup bid
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29 November 2009
Journalist: What do you make of these comments by Sepp Blatter?
Minister Ellis: Look Australia has long maintained that we’re bidding to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Our eye has not moved off that prize. We remain fully committed to that bid and we’re in it to win it.
Journalist: Are you surprised that he would make these comments in an off-the-cuff way?
Minister Ellis: Well the comments that I’ve seen from Sepp Blatter himself say that this is an idea and that it has not been fully decided. As such we’re remaining on track with our bid for 2018 or 2022 and obviously if it becomes apparent that we’re more likely to succeed in one of those than the other then we’ll act accordingly, but at the moment we’re carrying on business as usual. We’re bidding for the biggest sporting event on the planet and we’re confident that we have a good shot at it.
Journalist: But is he changing the goal posts at half time?
Minister Ellis: Well there’s been no formal communication from FIFA on this issue so at this stage we’re continuing to proceed with business as usual.
Journalist: Do you think that against the might of Europe and the European football authorities, Australia ever really stood a chance in 2018?
Minister Ellis: Look the reason that we have been committed to this bid is because we think that Australia is a world leader in hosting global sporting events and because we think that we’ve got a good chance to win. It’s been broadly known for some time that there are some that are very keen to see a World Cup go to Europe in 2018. That’s not anything new but we’re committed to Australia being the host in 2018 or 2022 and we think we’ve got a good shot at that. Our bid’s been very well received particularly recently in South Africa at the media launch and we believe that Australians can do a great job and we’ve got a great chance
Journalist: But do you think that resources and time and money have been wasted on focusing on the 2018 bid?
Minister Ellis: All of our efforts have been concentrating on 2018 or 2022 and those are being decided at the same point and we believe that that is a valid investment to make. We believe that we’re still on course and we believe that we’ve got a good chance of being successful when ultimately the decision is made this December.
Journalist: So are you expecting the head of FFA Ben Buckley to meet with Sepp Blatter in Angola this week?
Minister Ellis: I know that Ben has been very active in pushing Australia’s case for 2018 and 2022 in all of his meetings and all of his travels and I know that the FFA will continue to be in close contact with FIFA but at this point there has been no formal communication and so we’re proceeding with business as usual.
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