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Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 10:38 GMT
Australia backs World Cup in SA
Danny Joordan with the World Cup trophy
Jordaan was unhappy with the comments about the 2010 WC

Australia has distanced itself from suggestions that South Africa's preparations for the 2010 World Cup are in trouble and that it could step in instead.

Danny Jordaan, head of the 2010 Local Organising Committee, complained bitterly about media reports last week that the Australians were actively seeking to replace South Africa as hosts of the event.

The premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, infuriated South African officials after stating that Australia has "the capacity to step into the breach at a moment's notice."

But Football Federation Australia (FFA) issued a statement on Friday to hose down the speculation.

"Fifa has awarded the 2010 tournament to South Africa and have consistently endorsed South Africa's appointment and state of preparations," FFA chairman Frank Lowy said.

"FFA has no reason to expect that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will take place anywhere other than South Africa, and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to qualify to participate in South Africa when Asian qualifying matches start in 2008.

"We wish South Africa every success in preparing for, hosting and enjoying a lasting positive legacy from staging the world's largest sports event."

Lowy also affirmed Australia's interest in hosting Fifa and Asian Football Confederation events at appropriate times in the future.

"Australia has a wonderful track record of hosting major events and we believe that there are Fifa and AFC competitions that would be highly successful if held here," he said.

"We are continuing to look into the feasibility of hosting a future World Cup and potentially the AFC Asian Cup and other international Football events.

"In the meantime, we hope to see the Socceroos once again making all Australians proud in South Africa in 2010."

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