After all the kick-and-fuss earlier this week from suits in Zurich it became evident that despite the drama surrounding the dates of what looks like a Christmas World Cup in 2022, the Confederations Cup, a ‘dry run’ for the tournament WON’T be held in Qatar.
To fit within the international schedule Qatar would have to host the 2021 Confederations Cup in the middle of a Qatari summer, which FIFA has only just now realised is a very bad idea, hence moving the World Cup to November-December.
Thus, opening the door for the Confeds to be played “in another Asian Country” according to FIFA Secretary, Jerome Valcke. And naturally, Australia alongside India, have been touted as the frontrunners to host the warm-up tournament in 2021.
So, if the 2021 Confederations Cup is up for grabs, should Australia nominate as a potential host?
History would suggest that FIFA cannot be trusted. The failed (and controversial) 2022 World Cup attempt left a number of Australian football’s key stakeholders and the Federal Government asking serious questions of how only a single vote was secured?
However, after January’s Asian Cup was declared an overwhelming success, one can only ponder about the real possibility of what hosting six of the world’s best nations would do for football in this country. Friendly visits from major European clubs have sold-out within a matter of hours, the popularity of a tournament of its calibre would far surpass any previous benchmarks.
Furthermore, it offers the Socceroos the opportunity to prepare against quality opposition for the 2022 World Cup. Friendlies on home soil has been a major downfall for the FFA, often having to settle for encounters with second rate teams.
FFA Chairman, Frank Lowy got the opportunity to wine and dine FIFA President Sepp Blatter at the Asian Cup Final. I’d be safe to say that the hot topic of the Qatar was on the discussed agenda and possibly a discussion on 2021. Blatter has already remarked that Australia “deserved” to host a World Cup after his trip Down Under, hinting at the possibility of what could come.
The FFA would be foolish not to consider the chance to host 16 Confederation Cup matches in Australia and welcome some of the world’s best footballers to our shores.
FIFA is expected to continue discussions on 2021 over the coming weeks as they look to confirm the dates of a November/December 2022 World Cup.
The FFA hasn’t returned the TURF’s request for comment.
By Jacob Arnott.