Mariners get behind World Cup bid

The Central Coast Mariners have thrown their support behind Australia’s united bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups.

The Central Coast Mariners have thrown their support behind Australia-s united bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups.

Football Federation Australia Chairman Frank Lowy officially launched Australia-s bid campaign at the weekend, assisted by Prime Minister the Honourable Mr. Kevin Rudd, and Federal Opposition leader the Honourable Mr. Malcolm Turnbull.

Today, the Mariners have thrown their support behind Australia-s quest to host one of the world-s largest sporting events.

"The Central Coast Mariners football club, as a passionate member of Australia-s football family is 100% behind Football Federation Australia-s bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"Geographically, we believe our region is in a prime position to play a major part in hosting such an event, with world class hotels, training facilities and natural beauty at our disposal, the Central Coast will both contribute to, and also benefit massively from a tournament of this magnitude coming to our country.

"Along with this, the Mariners centre of excellence at Tuggerah would be the perfect location for a competing nation to base itself for the duration of the tournament, giving itself access to state of the art training, recovery and sports science technology, while being housed in modern comfort, away from the intense glare of a capital city, yet just an hour away from one of the tournament-s major hubs," Gorman said.

Mr Lowy has been strong in his reasoning as to why world football-s showpiece event should head down under.

"Since the World Cup began 80 years ago, the Asia Football Confederation, has hosted the World Cup just once before, in 2002. The Oceania Football Confederation has never hosted it. In fact, Australia is the only continent not to have hosted it," Mr Lowy told the national press club in Canberra.

"The biggest television audience for the World Cup, by far, lies in Asia, not Europe or America.

"Another World Cup in Europe would undoubtedly be successful.

"But it is a mature market - it is already overflowing with the highest quality football on a weekly basis.

"And the United States, even under the rosiest scenarios, will remain problematic for football given the unique characteristics of that market and the entrenched competition from other sports.

"From the outset the Prime Minister has provided unequivocal support, and his personal involvement, including a direct appeal to delegates at last year-s FIFA Congress in Sydney, has made a huge impact. That support was echoed at our official launch of the bid yesterday by the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull. And all State Governments through the COAG process have committed themselves to the national effort.

"We can deliver the infrastructure. FIFA has stringent technical requirements which must be met. For the 2018 and 2022 bids, we have been advised that we must have a minimum of 12 stadia, at least two of which must hold 80,000 fans, 10 of those must hold a minimum of 45,000 fans. Training facilities for 32 teams, and five-star accommodation for a minimum of four teams, the FIFA organisation and match officials in every host city.

"While the existing stadia we have are world-class, it is clear that a significant investment in new and existing stadia will be needed to meet the FIFA requirements.

And the Mariners believe their foothold in the Central Coast community could help sway officials into making decisions regarding the regions role in hosting a World Cup.

"Plans for our centre of excellence are already well advanced, and the area already has the luxury of a 20,000 seat stadium to call its own. The Central Coast is already passionate about the game, we have around 14-thousand registered players, and Mariners memberships are as strong as ever.

"We want to see that current commitment to the game from the grassroots to the Hyundai A-League and beyond, help us to help Australia in its bid to secure the rights to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cups, and we wish Mr Lowy and his team every success, and our full support as they continue their quest," said Gorman.

Mariners memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by calling 1300 767 442.