Fifa boosts Australia

Delegates have just finished inspecting facilities, led by Chilean Football Federation President Harold Mayne-Nicholls.

With opposition from Qatar, Japan and South Korea - and potentially the USA - for the 2022 tournament, Australia faces tough opposition.

But its officials believe the country's experience of hosting major sporting events, including the 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2000 Olympics, stand it in good stead.

"We must conclude that this country seems to be prepared in all the aspects to organize the World Cup in 2022," said Mayne-Nicholls.

"During the visit we had the chance to learn a lot about your country and especially about football in Australia.

"We are proud to know that programs such as Football United are used as a vehicle for social improvements that will help to build better communities: also it was very impressive to read that the growth of football in Australia in the last decade has been 60 per cent and that at the moment there are more than 600,000 players registered.

"We also learnt that major events are not new for this country and we remembered such great moments in the history of sport in Australia when at the Olympic Stadium Cathy Freeman talked about her gold medal at the 2000 Olympics and when John Aloisi described his feelings before and after the penalty kick that took you to the World Cup in 2006.

"The visit to the Sports National Museum in Melbourne was very special and such a museum is for sure one of the best in the world.

"We also heard about the promises to deliver new first class stadiums and to renovate the existing ones, the implementation of volunteers programs, the improvements in telecommunications and transportation that will take place.

"And beside all that that, if the World Cup comes to Australia in 2022, it will be more than a football tournament with four important areas in social development, including the Oceania countries in this program."