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USA 2022: New Wave of Hope for Australia Bid

With disgraced vote-peddling Oceania Football Conference (OFC) chief Reynald Temarii prohibited from voting next week, Australia's World Cup bid looked a little dead in the water, boosting the chances of the U.S. getting the nod to host in 2022. But Oceania, the plucky little federation that they are, isn't giving up: The OFC is set to "ask" Temarii to "step down" (read: "demand" that he "get out of the damn way"), in the hopes that FIFA will give a squeaky-clean new OFC president – likely acting president David Chung – a restored right to vote.

And it's pretty clear that that vote isn't going USA's way.
According to the BBC, FIFA has said that Oceania won't be getting anything back while Temarii is still appealing his one-year suspension. So the OFC will likely, again, tell Temarii to shut up and go away so Chung can be allowed to "Yea" for Australia in Zurich next week.

It's bad news for those of us pulling for the American bid, especially with bookies William Hill yesterday tipping Australia's bid as second behind Qatar, with Oz having a 3-1 shot at hosting and the U.S. lagging at 7-2. (Qatar, for the record, was called a 4-9 favourite.)

There's also the small matter of David Beckham, who arrived in Oz yesterday for a tour with the LA Galaxy. The conspiracy theorist in me is whispering that, given Oceania's last-ditch scrambles, David Beckham could now have a secondary purpose in the Southern Hemisphere: Would-be Oceania president Chung is reputed to be a strong supporter of England's 2018 bid. It's not hard to imagine that, should FIFA let Chung vote on the OCF's behalf, he may wrangle with Beckham for some English support for Oz 2022.

Beckham hasn't said much publicly about the 2022 bids – he is, after all, a key player in another hopsting bid, and is in Australia with his American club side. But that hasn't stopped some of the more excitable English media outlets. A quote like "both countries [the U.S. and Australia] could host a huge competition like the World Cup" seems pretty neutral, but apparently it's not. Becks' mere acknowledgment that both Australia the U.S. as countries are each physically capable of hosting a large sporting event even earned a headline like this:

[h=1]Aussie Rules! David Beckham believes Australia could easily host 2022 World Cup[/h]
Accurate and balanced, yes? Thanks Daily Mail.

Luckily the bad momentum down under may have been canceled out by a pro-American push from pop-culture trashbin Just Jared, who reported:

[h=1]Landon Donovan: Shirtless in Australia[/h]
That's bound to help, right?


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