Australia will press ahead with their bid to host a World Cup despite FIFA president Sepp Blatter's comments indicating only European nations will be considered for 2018.
Speaking in Madrid recently, Blatter revealed he had discussed the European-only deal with UEFA chief Michel Platini.
''There is a movement at the moment among the various candidates that in the end it would be a good solution...if the candidates for 2018 would only be those from Europe,'' he said. ''It's not been finally decided, but it's the idea, also to make the work of FIFA easier and especially that of the executive committee.''
The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) have openly stated their desire to host a World Cup in either 2018 or 2022 and a statement released admitted they have been aware for some time of the possibility of Europe being favoured for the former.
''In response to recent comments by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, FFA confirms it has been aware for some time that there is a push for the 2018 World Cup to be awarded to one of the European bidders,'' read the statement. ''Hence FFA is not surprised by the President's comments as they are reflective that those discussions have occurred in some quarters.''
FFA chairman Frank Lowy stressed Australia would continue with their bids to host either edition unless advised to do otherwise by FIFA.
''If we come to the view that we have a better chance for 2022, than 2018, we will act accordingly,'' he said.
FIFA's executive committee will announce their decision on the host for both years in December.