Australia guns for World Cup

MELBOURNE - Australia has joined Japan and the United Arab Emirates in bidding to host the Fifa Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010.

MELBOURNE - Australia has joined Japan and the United Arab Emirates in bidding to host the Fifa Club World Cup in 2009 and 2010.

Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley said yesterday that Australia had "very strong credentials" to host the tournament, which comprises the champion club from each of the six Fifa confederations.

Last year's winners were Italy's Milan, with Argentina's Boca Juniors second and Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan third.

"Australia has quality facilities; good systems and infrastructure and the capacity to develop more, stable governance," Buckley said.

He said Japan and the United Arab Emirates were "very strong contenders". "Japan has hosted the tournament for the past four years and will again in 2008," Buckley said.

"The United Arab Emirates has first-class facilities and resources to put towards a tournament of this nature."

A decision will be made on the host of the two tournaments when the Fifa Congress meets in Sydney on May 29 and 30.

The Fifa World Cup, and the predecessor Intercontinental Cup between the champions of Europe and South America, had been held in Japan every year since 1980, except in 2000 when the newly-expanded competition was held in Brazil.

The 2009 edition is the first hosting process open to bidding. - Sapa-AP

X