FIFA World Cup in Australia no great stretch
BACK in September 1993, Aussies were doing handstands when Sydney was awarded the 2000 Olympic Games.
Beijing was the hot favourite to be awarded the Games of the XXVIIth Olympiad before Juan Antonio Samaranch announced in Monte Carlo during the early hours of September 24 that Australia would be hosting the Olympic Games a second time.
That’s after Melbourne had hosted the Games in 1956.
It was exciting times, and it was a little hard to get back to sleep that night.
The Millennium Olympic Games or the Games of the New Millennium proved a smash hit.
Most will recall the moment when the ring of fire that Cathy Freeman ignited at ground level stalled on its journey up- wards to meet the cauldron at the top of the Olympic stadium at Homebush.
Apart from that glitch and Midnight Oil embarrassing themselves on the world stage during the closing ceremony, Samaranch came out with the following before the Olympic flame was extinguished.
“I am proud and happy to proclaim that you have presented to the world the best Olympic Games ever.”
With that in mind there shouldn’t be too many problems when the Gold Coast hosts the XXIst Commonwealth Games next year.
Last week in Lima, Peru, the International Olympic Committee announced that Paris would be the host for the 2024 Olympics and that Los Angeles would stage the Games in 2028.
Both Paris and Los Angeles have hosted the Olympic Games twice in the past.
Paris in 1900 and 1924, with Los Angeles becoming the centre of the universe in 1932 and 1984.
Paris and Los Angeles will become the second and third cities to host the Olympics for a third time.
London has had the honour in 1908, 1948 and 2012.
After hosting the Games in 1964, Tokyo will be the venue in 2020.
Significantly, Berlin — the hosts in 1936 — were due to host the 1916 Olympics before the intervention of World War I and Tokyo were to stage the 1940 Games had it not been for World War II.
And although hosting the Olympics in 1948, London was to be the venue in 1944. Hosting the Olympic Games is not only an expensive exercise these days (just ask the good folk of Montreal), but it is also a big deal.
It makes you wonder if Melbourne and Sydney will ever get to host the Games again, and for Brisbane and Gold Coast to join forces and stage the Olympics isn’t as silly as it sounds.
Could Adelaide or Perth host an Olympic Games?
If Qatar can secure the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals then anything is possible.
Speaking of the FIFA World Cup finals, five countries have hosted the global event on two occasions.
They include Italy, France, Brazil, Mexico and Germany — albeit it was West Germany (1974) and Germany (2006).
Hard to believe that England hasn’t had the FIFA World Cup finals on more than one occasion. Every chance the “home of football” will get the chance as from 2026 with FIFA deciding to host a competition accommodating 48 teams.
Currently, 32 teams take part in the World Cup finals — eight groups of four teams before the knockout stage.
Come 2026 there will be 16 groups of three teams with the top two teams from each group advancing to a 32-team knockout stage.
Being fair dinkum, how many countries would be capable of hosting the FIFA World Cup finals with 48 teams?
A few European countries would cope — especially England, Germany, Spain, Italy and France — and even the United States, who were the hosts in 1994.
How many Asian, African and South American countries would cope?
FIFA does its best to ensure that various continents host the World Cup finals on a rotational basis.
That may not be possible in the future unless two countries from the same continent hosts the competition.
It seems certain that Argentina and Uruguay will host the FIFA World Cup finals in 2030.
There is no doubt that Australia could host the FIFA World Cup finals as we have fantastic stadiums. ANZ Stadium, Allianz Stadium, MCG, Etihad Stadium, Adelaide Oval, Perth Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, GIO Stadium, Cbus Super Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium and Simonds Stadium.
If it came to the crunch and Australia had to share the FIFA World Cup finals with New Zealand that wouldn’t be a problem as there are a host of quality of stadiums across the ditch.
Australia and New Zealand have hosted the ICC World Cup on two occasions in the past (1992 and 2015) without a problem, so would hosting the biggest soccer tournament in the world be an issue?
Finally, Australia was also the venue for the 2003 IRB World Cup (rugby union) and it went off without a hitch.