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By ESPN Staff

Howard backs Aussie World Cup bid idea

Prime Minister John Howard has backed a proposal to host the soccer World Cup in Australia in 2014.

Mr Howard said the proposal, from South Australian Premier Mike Rann, had merit as Australia had proven it could handle any major sporting event on the globe.

"There is no world event that is beyond the capacity of Australia to organise superbly," he told ABC radio.

"We are very good at it, we proved that in Melbourne in 1956, we proved it in Sydney in 2000, Melbourne again with the Commonwealth Games, and the very successful Rugby World Cup.

"And I'm sure, anywhere in Australia virtually, where there's a large population and the necessary infrastructure, we could do it."

Mr Howard said he would be happy to discuss the idea with Mr Rann at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting.

He said the proposal would have to be a national endeavour.

"As a matter of principle I'm certainly in favour of us looking at it, as a nation, it should be done on a national basis," he said.