As reported on “Not The Footy Show” last night should Australia’s football world cup bid be successful the WA Government are going to have to pull their finger out to bring Perth up to the acceptable standard.
Perth was the only major city in Australia to miss out on the Olympic experience back in 2000, with events being held in Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne as well as host city Sydney.
The World cup is however an event that is awarded to a country and not a city. FIFA have stated that for Australia to host the World Cup it must be a truly national event.
The worrying thing is the bid document is based on Perth’s new stadium – the stadium that no one but the sport we don’t mention wants – which this government has said will not happen.
There is a minimum requirement to host a World Cup game that the ground must hold 40 thousand. Will Perth have such a stadium by 2018? They may do by 2022.
FIFA have rules as to how close you have to be to the pitch if the venue is oval in shape, a serious consideration if this “new Stadium” is to be shared. Note that the MCG does not meet this criterion.
The media and VIP facilities in Perth are well below par for a tournament such as this. The FFA document states that there will be 19,000 accredited media at the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. In Germany the figure we received from FIFA was 15,000. To put this into perspective the Olympics have in the region of 5000 media in attendance.
Transportation and accommodation are two other key issues, can the airport and public transport systems cope with the influx of playing squads and fans? Do we have enough accommodation to house these fans? Bearing in mind that if Perth is to host one of the group stages you will have 4 teams staying here, and they tend to request that supporters do not stay at the same hotels as the teams, then you will have thousands of fans who have come to support their team with no where to stay. At present the prospect is laughable.
Perth has a reported 153 accommodation outlets but only 7 are 5 star, although even that is debatable (having stayed at Burswood can you really say that their rooms are 5 star?). Either way this gives us a room capacity of 11,072. If each team brought 5,000 fans, which is being conservative, we still could not cope.
The FFA have used a traffic light system, green for all OK and ready to work, amber for not ready now but can be, and red for not even started yet.
The “New Stadium” has green on five of the 9 criteria points even though it doesn’t even exist. The areas it is amber are VIP Areas, Media & Broadcast, and Precinct and Transport links. How you can grade something that does not exist in a location that has not been decided? It seems a little strange, and the overall result is this venue gets the green light!
Members Equity, receives one green light for the playing surface, 4 amber and 4 red, resulting in an overall, red for not acceptable.
So Perth is faced with an acceptable phantom stadium and an unacceptable existing stadium.
To add insult to injury, Training facilities, Accommodation and public transport all get amber.
So the overall outcome for WA does not look good. We have to spend heavily to be in with a hope of being a part of Australia’s World Cup should they win hosting rights, or once again like the Olympics we could miss out.
For all you doubters that Australia has not got a hope of winning the bid process, don’t be too sure, as FIFA works in mysterious ways. It often comes down to politicking and Frank Lowy is a master.