Former footballer Angela Iannotta said Australia could host the men’s and women’s World Cup back to back.
An Australian women’s football icon has called for the 2022 FIFA men’s World Cup to be moved to Australia, according to reports, which pointed to Qatar’s recent rise in COVID-19 cases.
Australia and New Zealand will be co-hosting the 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup.
“I think it would be awesome, the men’s World Cup and then the women’s World Cup in successive years,” Angela Iannotta, according to The Women’s Game. “It’s never happened before but there is always a first time and why not start with Australia.”
Australia’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup back in 2010 failed dismally after receiving only one vote during the process, finishing last out of the five competing nations.
“Australia has top level stadiums, training facilities and is also well prepared at organising major international events. So yes, we would be the perfect nation,” Ianotta added.
FIFA is expected to generate $4.7 billion in revenue in 2022, the bulk of that from Qatar, which has already spent billions to prepare for the global sporting event.
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Ianotta referenced her countries’ handling of the COVID-19 health crisis, which has so far only seen 28,000 total cases.
“Australia is the eighth best-performing country in the world at controlling COVID-19 so it shows that Australia as a nation is well organised and can certainly organise a World Cup in such a short time notice,” she said.
Bringing the World Cup to Australia will also allow the tournament to be played in the traditional June/July time period as opposed to in November/December in Qatar, which was a sore point for European domestic leagues, she said.
Her comments came as Qatar recorded a rise in COVID-19 cases, triggering concern over a potential second wave.
However, Doha’s health authorities have been praised for the quick action to tackle the pandemic, imposing strict lockdowns, precautionary measures and more recently, rolling out the vaccination programme.
Qatar has had a coronavirus fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world, coupled with the highest recovery rate.
Its preparation for the 2022 world sporting event has also been commended by footballing authorities, who said they expect Qatar to host the greatest ever World Cup.
Qatar’s hosting of the tournament will mark the first such time it is held in the Middle East.