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. Perhaps all the Aussies should chat in the Asian forum now?