Australia might not get the chance to bid for the 2018 World Cup, after FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggested European countries might be the only ones considered to host football’s showpiece event.
The news comes as a massive blow to the nation’s chances of hosting the World Cup at all, though if the supposed cut-off goes ahead, Australia would still be in the running to host the 2022 competition after entering a dual bid.
"From what I've discussed with the president of UEFA, Michel Platini, in the last few days in Moscow is that only a European candidate will be evaluated for the 2018 World Cup," Blatter said at a news conference.
"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.
''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.''
Football Federation Australia’s new Head of Media Relations Rod Allen told Fox Sports that the governing body hadn’t received any official word from FIFA.
If only European nations were to be considered to host the World Cup in 2018, Australia would be competing with the United States, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar for the 2022 event.
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