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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Australian 2018 World Cup bid needs cash pledge

Australia could rival England's bid for the 2018 World Cup if the country's government is ready to provide financial support according to Frank Lowy, the chairman of Football Federation Australia.

There is an election in Australia on November 24 but Lowy is hopeful of receiving backing regardless of which party is voted into power.

Lowy told the Daily Telegraph: 'The money will have to come from government participation.

'If the Government is supportive of these ideas, I think it can happen. If the Government isn't, it won't happen.

'(But) both parties have declared their interest. The prime minister (John Howard) has made a statement recently, the sports minister (George Brandis) made a statement yesterday, the opposition has indicated they're interested and the state governments are all behind us.

'But you need some (financial) muscle behind the wish and that will be the determination of the Government of Australia if they want us to bid for this big prize.'

Lowy concedes it would be a long and hard process but sees no reason why any potential bid should not succeed.

'It's a big ask but if we don't dream we don't get there.

'I think we have as good a chance as any other nation to host the 2018 World Cup - from our discussions with the constituents of FIFA, it makes me say we have a reasonable chance.

'There's a lot of sympathy with Australia and I think we can do a good job. If we get the World Cup we will make it at least as good as the (2000) Olympic Games.'