Australia have joined the AFC!

Discussion in 'Australia' started by xabi_al0ns0, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. xabi_al0ns0

    xabi_al0ns0 New Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Australia
    Fantastic news people, Australia have joined the AFC today!

    Link - http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-fifaaustralia&prov=reuters&type=lgns

    Australia completes move from Oceania to Asia

    (Updates with Blatter quotes)

    By Mike Collett

    FRANKFURT, June 29 (Reuters) - FIFA's executive committee on Wednesday ratified Australia's migration from the Oceania confederation (OFC) to the Asian confederation (AFC), a move that will have a major impact on soccer in both regions.

    Australia had not been expected to be given approval until September when FIFA's Congress meets in Marrakech, Morocco but the executive committee saw no reason to wait until then, said FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday.

    "All the participants were happy with the move and this being the case, the executive committee approved it under the statutes. It did not need to wait for Congress."

    Blatter added: "The Oceania delegates have thought for many years that Australia was too powerful and blocked the way of the other 11 countries. Now New Zealand, and the Pacific islands at least have a chance. They can go it alone, I am sure it will be a success."

    Mohamed Bin Hammam, the AFC president, said: "The FIFA executive committee decided to allow Australia to move now and I am very glad it has happened.

    "It makes sense from both the Oceania point of view and for Asia it is good that we have another strong country."

    Australia now becomes the 46th member of the AFC and its new status should have a hugely beneficial impact on the development of soccer in the country.

    The move will also end a series of mis-matches which have included Australia crushing Pacific island nations American Samoa 31-0 and Tonga 22-0 in World Cup qualifiers in the last few years.

    At the same time it will give Australia a far more realistic chance of reaching future World Cup finals -- something they have not done since 1974 in West Germany.

    Australia have usually won the Oceania zone qualifying competition with ease -- and then faltered in a two-legged playoff against South American or Asian opponents.

    This way they can afford to lose some matches like every other nation does during the 18-month long qualifying campaign -- and still get through to the finals.

    The announcement was made, ironically, on the day Australia coach Frank Farina stepped down from his job after three straight defeats by his team in the Confederations Cup.

    Australia are still hoping to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany through their traditional route, but will be an Asian nation for the 2010 qualifying campaign ahead of the finals in South Africa. :D

    Perhaps all the Aussies should chat in the Asian forum now? :confused: :p
     
  2. Team Melli forever

    Jul 11, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    Welcome Aussies. As an Asian I'm very glad that you guys have joined the house. More competition and better quality games means the standard of Asian football will increase ever more. I'm guessing our first important tournament together will be Asian Cup 2007, one year after the World Cup. (If you haven't heard, AFC moved the AC one year back from 2008 to 2007 to avoid any overlap with other important tourneys that take place at that time). Looking forward to another exciting Iran-Australia clash :cool:
     
  3. xabi_al0ns0

    xabi_al0ns0 New Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Australia
    I hope we can build up a friendly rivalry between Iran and Australia considering our past clashes together, it would really help build a football culture of Asia in Australia. :D
     
  4. The V Bomber

    The V Bomber New Member

    Jun 15, 2005
    mmmmmm, moving up one step at a time.
     
  5. red_soccerhut

    red_soccerhut BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 25, 2005
    Long, long overdue.

    What are the fixtures roughly like for 2006 with official qualifiers in the AFC?

    If we do happen to luck it into the 2006 WC, we will also have a decent little competitive lead up period.

    2007, if we are one of the top 16 that make it could also make an interesting football year.
     
  6. JLSA

    JLSA Member

    Nov 11, 2003
    AC qualifiers will be six games. If we make the WC they would need to be (to keep to official FIFA match days) - 1 in Feb (or August) - 2 in Sept - 2 in Oct - 1 in Nov. That would keep us free for targetted lead up matches in March, April and May. They are meant to start in February though - so we might be asked to play 2 games before the WC.

    We will struggle to get all our players back for these fixtures - particularly in August onwards, but should probably only need to finish top-2 in a group to make the finals. Not a certainty, but probable.

    J
     
  7. hanul21

    hanul21 Member+

    Dec 26, 2004
    Club:
    Incheon United
    :D Welcome Aussies to the AFC! its getting even better and better for the AFC now with the great Australia side joining us! you guys have AWESOME world class players especially Kewell!! now with you guys Asia will be HIGHLY regarded and wont be taken for granted. its kind of a shame that you guy joined the AFC after the AFC WCQ were over. at least we'll look forward to the Asian Cup! :D
     
  8. xabi_al0ns0

    xabi_al0ns0 New Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    Australia
    It will be fantastic playing strong sides like your team South Korea and also other top quality sides like Iran and Japan. Also decent sides like China and Saudi Arabia will provide a challenge also. :D
     
  9. Hachiko

    Hachiko The Akita on Big Soccer

    Jun 8, 2005
    Long Beach, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is excellent, as now Japan can now clash with Australia for a spot in the Confed or World Cup more often. That I think, will be a good rivalry to watch. Actually, now that Australia is now in the mix, New Zealand won't be the only regional soccer rival for them...but I think just about everyone knows that.
     
  10. Forza_Italia

    Forza_Italia New Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    mississauga
    i guess thats good news for 5th placed conmebol members because they have no real threat to thier qualification anymore (starting in 2010 though they still have to beat the aussies this year and with players like aloisi they mite break their losing streak in the playoff against the 5th placed conmebol opponent)
     
  11. Forza_Italia

    Forza_Italia New Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    mississauga
    unless the solomon islands win this year
     
  12. red_soccerhut

    red_soccerhut BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 25, 2005
    Really hope that we can build a great rivalry with the AFC nations.

    I can remember when we used to engage with the Koreas more often and they used to be damn tough teams. This is back in the 80's. Japan is the same and I am sure China will only get stronger.

    It will certainly make viewing regional matches very interesting unlike our current '40 years in the desert'.

    Local Australian football crowds will increase significantly and unfortunately SBS will inevitably lose the rights to Australian matches one of these days and the media hogs like the Nine Network or Seven will waltz up. Same thing happened with cricket in the 1970's and AFL football in the 1980's.

    There is always a price to pay for popularity.
     
  13. Auxodium

    Auxodium New Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    Perth, Australia
    woooo now the A-League has to conform to the AFC Champions league roster rules
     

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