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Aussie chief Lowy appointed to FIFA WCup committee

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Sep 2008

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Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy has been appointed to the FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, FFA said Friday.

The billionaire property developer was appointed to the position for four years, it said.

Reports said here that Lowy, 77, would be involved in overseeing the 2010 finals in South Africa as well as having the ear of influential powerbrokers as Australia lobbies to host the 2018 or 2022 tournament.

“On the world sporting stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the FIFA World Cup,” Lowy said in a statement.

“There is no other sport which engages so many people from so many nations around the world facilitating a deeper level of engagement with individuals, businesses and nations.”

FFA is pressing ahead with Australia's bid to organise the football showpiece, despite comments from FIFA president Sepp Blatter that Europe would likely host the 2018 tournament.

European powers England, Spain, Russia and a joint Dutch-Belgian effort are also expected to bid for 2018 as well as China, Japan, Qatar, the United States and Mexico.

“It is a privilege for me personally to be able to contribute to the organisation of the world's biggest football tournament,” Lowy said.

“But, more importantly, it is wonderful recognition of the growing credibility and reputation of Australia within the global football community.”

Lowy said that the FIFA Congress in Sydney last May also enhanced Australia's reputation in world football.

The host of the 2018 World Cup, and possibly also the 2022 event, will be announced by FIFA in 2011.

Brazil has already been handed the hosting rights to the 2014 World Cup.

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