2010 World Cup in Oz?

Australia poised to host 2010 CupArticle from: Font size: Decrease Increase Email article: Email Print article: Print Submit comment: Submit comment

By Mike Hurst

July 12, 2007 12:00am

ATHLETICS Australia will promote a bid to host the World Cup of track and field in 2010 if, as expected, Croatia withdraws from staging the three-day event in Split.

A source within the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) told The Daily Telegraph that the Croatians would be defaulting because their bid to host the European soccer championships had failed.
Under the Croatian proposal to the IAAF, their plans to conduct a much-needed and expensive upgrade of the main stadium in Split was contingent on them succeeding with their soccer bid.

AA chief executive Danny Corcoran was yesterday unaware of the Split decision but welcomed the idea that Australia might take over the running of the World Cup - a spectacular global teams championship event previously staged in Canberra in 1985.

Australia had two winners at the most recent quadrennial World Cup when Craig Mottram (3000m) and Steve Hooker (pole vault) won in Athens in 2006.

But AA, and in particular the Queensland major events corporation, are still bitter about the arduous two-year and $3 million process they went through trying to win the right to host the 2011 world athletics championships.

Earlier this year the Monte Carlo-based IAAF chose Daegu in South Korea to stage the 2011 world titles following a bidding process decided ultimately on the additional “incentives”, which was code for Daegu’s guarantee of sponsorship for the IAAF, reported to be $26 million.

Nevertheless, AA remains keen to attract significant international events and the World Cup is conducted on a more easily manageable scale and attracts most of the biggest names in the premier Olympic sport anyway.

“We’re really keen to hold world events in this country and in particular in the lead-up to the London Olympic Games in 2012,” Corcoran said yesterday.

"We’ll do everything to facilitate it (the World Cup). We’ll work in with the major events corporation in every state and they’ll have to decide (whether to support the bid) based on their costs-benefits assessment.

"Obviously Queensland is extra well placed, not just because of the climate at that time of year (the World Cup is always held in the September-October period) but also because of tourism north and south.

"A three-day timetable is a handy little event for TV, giving everyone time for a good promotional build-up and there will be a lot of athletes involved.

“At last year’s World Cup (Craig) Mottram won the 3000m beating Ethiopian superstar Kenenisa Bekele and our pole vaulters are on top of the world. While we’ve got these great athletes at the peak of their career, it’s certainly the right time to promote them here at home.”