Football Federation Australia will ask FIFA for compensation for the $43 million spent on Australia’s failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Australia made its bid on the basis the World Cup would occur as normal during the 2022 European summer, however a recent FIFA recommendation would see the tournament played in January in an attempt to avoid the extreme heat of the Qatar summer.
FFA chairman Frank Lowy is seeking “just and fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event if the tournament is shifted to Qatar's winter.”
Under the current FIFA recommendation, club football across the globe would start a month earlier than usual before pausing between mid-December 2021 and mid-February 2022 and finishing a month later.
“Australia invested heavily in the World Cup process and the entire nation was behind the bid,” Lowy said.
“Since December 2010 Australia has been careful not to let its misgivings about the process be interpreted as sour grapes.
“But now, with increasing speculation about a change that will impact on us as one of the bidding nations, and because our competition will be affected, we have made our position public.”
If the 2022 World Cup is indeed moved to the winter months, Australia’s compensation demand will likely trigger a number of other nations to also seek reimbursement, not only for failed bids, but also due to the financial ramifications of having professional football seasons disrupted for operation of the World Cup.
“If the World Cup were to be staged in the middle of our A-League season it would impact on our competition, not just for 2022, but for the seasons leading up to and beyond that date,” said Lowy.
“Clubs, investors, broadcasters, players and fans would all be affected.
“FIFA has an opportunity now to make the best of a bad situation by embarking on a transparent and orderly approach, unlike the process that led to the original flawed decision in December 2010.”
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Christophe Simon, Getty Images.