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Former Olympic champ Freeman joins Aloisi in welcoming inspection team

Olympic 400m champion Cathy Freeman and former Socceroo John Aloisi joined a delegation of FIFA inspectors today as they examined the credentials of Australia's Bid to win the right to host the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022.

Freeman relived the experience of winning Gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games for the delegates at the scene of the event, Stadium Australia.

As the inspectors examined the stadium yesterday afternoon, Freeman told them that she rode a wave of support from the crowd to get through the final metres on the historic night ten years ago.

"We have such a strong sporting culture in Australia and the support I got that night was amazing. I could feel them willing me on and I just rode the wave," Freeman said.

"We have a great record in holding major events and if we get a FIFA World Cup we would do a great job."

Aloisi relived the night he kicked the final penalty against Uruguay to send the Socceroos to the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time in 32 years.

As he strode in to take the fifth penalty kick in 2005, Aloisi said he was "in the zone" and all he could hear was a "murmur" from the fans before he belted the ball into the back of the net.

"Football has come a long way in this country since then and I really think that night was a turning point," Aloisi said.

"It would be fantastic to have a FIFA World Cup in Australia and we would do a great job if given the chance."

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.

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