Australia's withdrawal from bidding for the 2018 World Cup should boost support for its campaign to host the 2022 tournament, Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy believes.
Lowy said on Wednesday that Australia's withdrawal cleared the way for a European nation to host 2018, and should create goodwill ahead of the meeting of FIFA's executive committee on Dec 2, when the hosts will be decided.
Europe has eight members on the 24-member committee and their support will be crucial to deciding the 2022 host. FIFA has already applauded Australia's move to pull out of the 2018 race. "We were able to make some friends as a result of that," Lowy said.
The United States, seen as Australia's main opponent for 2022, remains in the bidding for both tournaments.
Lowy was cautiously optimistic about Australia's bid. "I am reasonably confident that we are going to be there," Lowy said. "But we have to remember this is a contest. "We can win it or lose it. In two minutes of extra time, games are won and lost on the field, and it is the same with this."
The bidders for 2018 are England, Russia, plus joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Spain-Portugal, along with the U.S.. The 2022 bids come from Australia, the US, Japan, Qatar, and South Korea.