Australia welcomed a delegation of FIFA inspectors this morning as they arrived in the country to examine the credentials of Australia's Bid to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
The FIFA inspection team consists of six delegates and is led by Chilean Football Federation President Harold Mayne-Nicholls and includes CEO of 2010 South Africa Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan, FIFA Head of Event Management Jurgen Muller, FIFA Marketing representative David Fowler, FIFA Competitions representative Julio Avellar and FIFA Media Officer Wolfgang Eichler.
Australia is the third stop on tour of the nine countries that are bidding to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments. They will be in Australia for three days.
The team was treated to a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony welcome on the Sydney Opera house forecourt and joined by Football Federation Australia Chairman Frank Lowy, AC, and Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis before hearing their first detailed briefing from the FFA Bid team.
On arrival, Mr Mayne-Nicholls said the delegation was pleased to be in Australia and was looking forward to seeing Australia's Bid first hand.
"For us it is a real pleasure to be here in your beautiful country and we are sure that during this stay we will learn a lot about your people, your Bid book and your ability to hold big events," Mr Mayne-Nicholls said.
"We hope also that you will be in a position to ask us all the questions you need to resolve before we write the final report to the FIFA Executive Committee members.
"We will do our best to be as subjective as possible and record all of the questions and answers the right way.
"Thanks for a beautiful welcome and for being with us in this beautiful city."