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Acceptance into the AFC - Australia

Sport DictionaryWorld Cup 2006 Teams and Players

Many commentators and fans felt that the only way for Australia to progress was to abandon the Oceania Football Confederation. Football had developed over time to place increasing importance on tournaments rather than friendly matches. This established the Continental championships and their qualifiers as the major source of competitive matches for national teams. This served to starve Australia of potential opponents and resulted in long gaps between fixtures for the national team.

The late Johnny Warren, a respected football broadcaster and former Socceroo captain, described his desire for Australia to join Asia. Despite previous attempts to do so, each notoriously ending in failure, a story was leaked from Tokyo in March 2005 suggesting that FFA had entered into secret discussions with the AFC on this very issue. On March 23, the AFC Executive Committee made a unanimous decision to invite Australia to join the AFC.

AFC President, Mohammed Bin Hammam, outlined reasons for this decision.

As well as being a developed football nation, Australia brings a developed economy and this is actually what we want in football. Besides Japan, Korea, China and Saudi Arabia if Australia joins the benefits are huge, this is what we're after.

On April 17, the OFC executive committee unanimously endorsed Australia's proposed move. FIFA approved the move on June 30, and it took effect on January 12006.

On December 1, the AFC Executive Committee announced that Australia will be put into the ASEAN zone.

Australia has duly been entered into the Asian Cup Qualifying Tournament beginning in February, 2006. On 4th January 2006, Australia was drawn into group D, alongside Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait.

Australia's first game as a member of the AFC was on 22 February 2006, a 3-1 win away to Bahrain in the Asian Cup qualifier.

See more in History...

see 2006 FIFA World Cup...

see World Cup 2006 - Teams...

© This article uses material from Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
See also: T L , WARP, TO , 15 , W&I , JEER-BLOCKS


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