Australia get World Cup 2018 boost
Australia's chances of hosting the 2018 World Cup have been boosted after Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy was appointed to the World Cup organising committee.
Lowy will oversee the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and will be part of the committee that decides where the 2018 event is held.
The 77-year-old businessman admitted it was an honour to join the FIFA committee for the next four years.
"It is a privilege for me personally to be able to contribute to the organisation of the world's biggest football tournament," Lowy said.
"But, more importantly, it is wonderful recognition of the growing credibility and reputation of Australia within the global football community."
Lowy said the fact Australia hosted the FIFA congress earlier this year shows just how well the country is regarded around the world.
"We have had nothing but praise for the organisation and staging of the FIFA Congress from delegates from around the world," he said.
"On the world sporting stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the World Cup, and there is no other sport which engages so many people from so many nations around the world facilitating a deeper level of engagement with individuals, businesses and nations."
Australia striker John Aloisi believes Lowy's appointment can only improve the country's chances of hosting the event in 10 years' time.
"Frank is very influential and it's no surprise that he's part of that," Aloisi told Sydney radio 2KY.
"It's good news because ... it's not as easy as everyone thinks that it will go back to Europe (in 2018) because Europe hasn't had it for quite a few years when that comes around.
"There's going to be a lot of people on Australia's side to get the World Cup.
"Most of the countries in Asia want it here.
"The people from CONCACAF which is Central America will want it here."
As well as Australia, other countries which have expressed an interest include England, Qatar, Russia, and Belgium and Holland have announced a joint bid.
Spain, Canada, and the US are also thought to be considering their options.