|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
Football Federation Australia chief executive Ben Buckley believes his organisation can put together a competitive bid to host the 2018 World Cup.FIFA announced on Monday it was ending its rotation policy and Australia have quickly signalled their intention to bring the showpiece event to Oceania for the first time in its history. They are likely to face strong competition, however, as England are weighing up a potential bid and China, the United States, Russia and Japan are also reported to be interested, while a joint approach from the Netherlands and Belgium could also emerge. But Buckley was confident Australia can present a strong case to host the World Cup in 11 years time and insisted it was far too early to start making predictions about who will eventually be awarded the honour. 'We're confident in our abilities to put together a very strong bid and we think Australia would be a great place to host it,' he said. 'We've got a great ability to put on major events. Australia's credentials stack up against anyone in the world. 'I don't think anyone is a shoo-in. The race has only just started so I don't know how anyone can be a shoo-in.' Buckley claimed it was FIFA's decision to abandon the rotation system that sparked the FFA's decision to launch their bid. 'We're very serious. We flagged our intention to bid for the World Cup at the earliest possible opportunity and we're delighted FIFA has decided to abandon the rotation policy,' he added. 'That would give us the opportunity to bid for, and hopefully be successful in, securing the right to host the 2018 World Cup. 'If the rotation policy stayed in place, the opportunity to host would be at a later period. 'Whilst we'll be competing with European-based nations and nations from all over the world, we think this is a better system and a better opportunity for us.' But Buckley did concede the process was still at a very early stage. 'We've done some preliminary work on stadiums, financial feasibility and the sort of resources that would be required internally to manage such a bid,' he said. 'We've got a team of people that are looking at that at the moment. 'We've had some preliminary discussions with the Federal Government and we're very confident they would be supportive of the bidding process. 'It would be great for all Australians, not just football fans.'