MELBOURNE (AFP) - Asia's status as the world's fastest growing economic region will boost Australia's chances of winning the right to host the football World Cup, an official said Wednesday.
Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy, who wants the global sporting event held Down Under in 2018 or 2022, said more money would come to the sport from holding the contest in Asia-Pacific than from anywhere else.
"We are able to show that bringing the game to Australia and having the Asian continent with us at the same time zone will benefit not only Australia, not only Asia, but the whole football world," Lowy told a lunch in Melbourne.
"Because the income that's been projected for the television rights and other income will be larger than if they go anywhere else... Nobody can offer what we can offer."
Lowy said FIFA could be tempted to allow Australia, which hosted the Olympics in 2000, to hold the event because "we are the backyard or frontyard for Asia."
He is hoping Australia wins out over England, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Russia and the US, which have all expressed an interest in hosting the contest in coming years.
Asia also held the promise of being a rich development opportunity for football, said Lowy.
"Asian development in sport is such that if the World Cup comes to this part of the world then I think they will be able to cash in and sort of monopolise with football, because the other sports haven't taken off yet," he said.
To host the World Cup in Australia, where the round ball sport often ranks behind other forms of football, would be a "nation-changing event," he said.
"From the moment Australia is announced as the host for a World Cup the interest level in football here will go through the roof," Lowy said.
The hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments will be chosen in December 2010.
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