Australia’s journey to the 2010 World Cup begins
The start of the Socceroos’ journey to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before a capacity crowd at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome on Wednesday is an historic occasion according to Football Federation Australia (FFA).
The start of the Socceroos- journey to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa before a capacity crowd at Melbourne-s Telstra Dome on Wednesday is an historic occasion according to Football Federation Australia (FFA).
“There have been many firsts for football in Australia in recent years, and the challenging journey to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is another,” CEO of FFA, Ben Buckley, said.
“It is a landmark occasion to be participating in our first World Cup qualifying campaign as part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).”
Mr Buckley said that being part of the AFC gives Australia-s nine national teams high quality opposition, the potential for an extended qualification campaign and more opportunities for fans to show their support.
“This qualification path through Asia will not be easy.
“But over the long term, consistent, high quality opposition benefits the entire football family in Australia. It helps us to improve our standards, quality of play, coaching and facilities.”
Buckley said the journey to the 2010 World Cup was in marked contrast to the 2006 campaign.
“Not only do we have a competitive and tough game every time, but we have a minimum of 14 matches to qualify for South Africa.”
For the 2006 campaign, Australia played 9 qualifying matches predominantly against countries in the Oceania region.
In another slice of history, it is also the first time Australia and Qatar have met at senior level. Previous encounters were at Under 17 level, with Socceroos Brett Emerton, Joshua Kennedy, Scott McDonald and Craig Moore all involved.
Other opponents for the Socceroos in this round of qualifying games include China and Iraq.
“Iraq is the Asian Champions, China is one of the powerhouses of Asian football and Qatar is emerging and ambitious to go further than it has previously.”
The Socceroos will play six games in total in this initial round, including crucial games at home on three occasions, starting with Wednesday-s match.
“The 2010 World Cup campaign is a long and challenging journey, but it also creates plenty of opportunities for Australian fans to support the Socceroos,” Buckley said.
FOXTEL is the presenting partner of Australia-s World Cup journey. Coverage starts on FOX SPORTS3 at 6.30pm AEDT.