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Etihad Stadium chief Collins now open to World Cup

Etihad Stadium chief Ian Collins has not ruled out the possibility of hosting matches at either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups if Australia's bid is successful.

Originally, the Melbourne venue were against the idea of having World Cup matches but have suddenly changed their tune and confirmed they are indeed a 'venue for hire'.

''If there's a will there will always be a way so people can work through things,'' Collins said.

''We're a venue for hire, we're always interested in whatever is going on.

''We support maximising the use of our stadium and we need to do that. Although I think the two major football bodies should probably sit down behind closed doors and sort out what's got to happen.''

Collins admitted that the resistance shown by the AFL so far was all to do with pride but said they would surely come around.

''It's a bit of chest-beating at the moment, it's interesting and Fitzy (AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick) also has some involvement in the ANZ Stadium (in Sydney) as well, so we've got to work together.

''Whether we work for soccer or rugby or Australian Rules football, we're here for the long run and we're here to have events and it's not only just sport that we're interested in.''

For more on the 2010 World Cup, go to http://www.worldcup.tribalfootball.com/page/Home/0,,12952,00.html

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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