FIFA have announced after several months of dialogue with the FFA, that Australia will now back out of the running for the 2018 World Cup. Football Federation Australia (FFA) in a joint statement with FIFA, announced that it will focus its bidding campaign on 2022.
The decision, which was co-ordinated with European Executive Committee members, has been welcomed by FIFA, whose Secretary General Jerome Valcke said; "The FFA and my office as well as the FIFA President have been in constant dialogue about Australia's bidding intentions since last autumn.
"The FFA have displayed an exemplary level of solidarity with Europe and the European Bidding Nations and were among the very first to enter into an open and constructive dialogue with me after it became apparent that there was a growing movement to stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Europe.
"Their announcement of today, therefore, to henceforth focus solely on bidding for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is a welcome gesture that is much appreciated by FIFA's leadership and Executive Committee.
"We wish to thank Mr. Lowy, the FFA and the Australian Government". FFA Chairman Frank Lowy confirmed his Federation's decision to withdraw from the 2018 bid and concentrate on 2022. "We have been in discussion with FIFA for months and it is that trusting relationship with the leadership of the governing body that has caused us to focus on 2022 and decide to leave the field for 2018 to European contenders"