FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke received a visit from the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Sunday.
The Australian delegation made the trip to FIFA headquarters as part of a voyage around Europe, which then took them to Brussels on Sunday evening. Among those joining Mrs Gillard on her visit was Australia's Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Switzerland, Tim Yeend.
“The World Cup in South Africa connected people together but above all it showed everyone what Africa is capable of doing,” said President Blatter during their meeting.
Australia is a candidate nation to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ and Mrs Gillard, who became the country’s first female Prime Minister when she took on the role on 24 June, said: “I confirmed to Mr Blatter my government’s total support for Australia’s candidature for the 2022 World Cup.
"Everyone in Australia is very enthusiastic about it. Football is growing in Australia and we proved by hosting the Olympic Games in 2000 that we know how to organise major sporting events. Football’s values such as teamwork, friendship and determination correspond perfectly with the Australian people.”
After thanking the Australian Prime Minister for her visit, the FIFA President noted that “Australia has already shown its ability to organise tournaments with real fervour, like the FIFA U-20 World Cups in 1981 and 1993. Australians are passionate about football, as was demonstrated by the performances of the national team at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010.”