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Transcript 12712

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, KIRRIBILLI, SYDNEY

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 05/08/2002

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 12712

Subjects: Soccer Australia; World Cup

E&OE...........

JOURNALIST:

Yesterday, Mr Carr and Mr Bracks simultaneously announced the launch of a bid for the 2014 World Cup. Was that premature?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh yes, plainly. Countries host World Cup soccer events, not states or cities. I actually knew about it when I picked up the Sunday papers. It had all the hallmarks to me of a Sunday political stunt rather than a serious attempt to help soccer. Look, the Federal Government';s very committed to helping soccer in Australia and we think it';s got a great future. It has very strong grass root support, especially amongst the young, and I think we have to sort of crawl before we walk in relation to things like international bids. There';s no doubting Australia';s capacity to host international sporting events. That';s not the point. The point is that if you';re serious about mounting a bid like this you don';t try and steal the PR marks. You sit down and work out with everybody involved. And Mr Blatter has made it very plain to me this morning that FIFA's not interested in bids that don';t have the full involvement of the national government. So my advice to Bob Carr and Steve Bracks is that if you';re serious lets help Soccer Australia get its act together and when that occurs then let all of us sit down and work out how best we can promote Soccer Australia as a potential host at some time in the future for an event of this magnitude. If we do it that way we';ll get a sensible result and everybody will be happy. This should not become the placing of Sunday afternoon stunts, PR stunts. I think soccer deserves better than that and that is a view that I';ve, in appropriate terms, communicated.

JOURNALIST:

If the correct steps are taken then Prime Minister, is there time? Could Australia, could Soccer Australia be ready to…

PRIME MINISTER:

I haven';t got the faintest idea about that. As I say the first I knew about this was in the Sunday papers and that';s not the way to conduct a serious effort. I mean it had all the hallmarks of a stunt and I think it';s now been seen and you';ve now got differences of opinion emerging out of the leadership of Australian soccer. I don';t want to get into that. We';ll help and we';ve given a lot of help because I think this sport has got tremendous grass roots momentum in Australia and more young people play soccer than any other football code including Australian Rules and that';s a pretty significant thing and the potential coming off that is enormous. Thanks.

[Ends]

Transcript 12712