Kids From Across The Nation To Help Bring The Fifa World Cup To Australia

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22nd November 2009, 09:49am - Views: 1007

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22 NOVEMBER 2009



Come Write! Come Play! winners announced and World Cup emissaries appointed 

Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced more ‘secret weapons’ to help bring the FIFA World

Cup™ to Australia in 2018 or 2022 with the appointment of eight children to the role of FFA ‘Come Play!’

FIFA World Cup™ emissary. 

The eight winners from each Australian state and territory will travel to Cape Town in South Africa in early

December where they will be part of the team that helps present Australia’s case to host the FIFA World

Cup™ in 2018 or 2022:

Sara Ralphs, 12 years from West Pymble will represent New South Wales

Claudia Favata, 11 years from Strathmore will represent Victoria

Blake Varga, 10 years from Kawana Island will represent Queensland

Joseph Love, 12 years from Newman will represent Western Australia

Massimo Caiazza, 8 years from Broadview will represent South Australia

Xavier Castaneda, 10 years from West Moonah will represent Tasmania

Kai Thornton, 11 years from O’Connor will represent the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Oscar Ferdinands, 9 years from Alawa will represent the Northern Territory (NT)

FFA called on Aussie children to tell them in 300 words or less why they think Australia should host the FIFA

World Cup™ last month.  Thousands of children used pictures as well as words to say why Australia should

host the games. However, there could only be one winner from each state. 

The winners were chosen by the judges as their entry best captured the spirit and passion Australians have

for the bid to host the greatest show on earth in Australia in 2018 or 2022.

FFA CEO, Ben Buckley said he was impressed at the number and quality of entries FFA received.

“It showed the huge community support behind the bid and is a fantastic illustration of the passion Aussie

kids have for football.”

“I congratulate each of the winners and hope they enjoy being a part of a significant event in Australian

history. Children are the future of football in Australia and will play a crucial role in putting our case across to

host the FIFA World Cup™.”

“The football festivities in Cape Town in December are an important part of the bid process as it is one of the

few official opportunities to present Australia’s bid before the international football community and media.”

“As the FIFA World Cup™ is hosted by a country, not just a city, we believe it is important to make sure

every state is represented and given a voice to FIFA.”

“It really will be a once in a lifetime experience for these children and I am looking forward to sharing it with

them,” Mr Buckley said. 

The eight winners voiced their excitement about winning their trip to South Africa and being appointed World

Cup emissaries:

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Sara Ralphs from New South Wales said, “I play football and couldn’t live without it. I believe our vigorous,

hearty and enthusiastic country should host the FIFA World Cup™ and I look forward to helping put this

forward in South Africa.”

Joseph Love from Western Australia said, “I live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream the game. We live 1200

kilometres from Perth and on the edge of the desert – our club is 350 kids strong. We’re all very, very

passionate about playing and the FIFA World Cup™ coming to Australia.”

Kai Thornton from the Australian Capital Territory said, “This is a fantastic opportunity. I am looking

forward to being a part of a great event. This will be a big moment in my life and a great experience.”

Oscar Ferdinands from the Northern Territory said, “The last World Cup when Australia did so well got

me into playing soccer and I really want the FIFA World Cup™ to be held in Australia to encourage other

young kids to play.”

Xavier Castaneda from Tasmania said, “I would love to see Australia host the FIFA World Cup. We

represent many cultures and the rest of the world will feel right at home. We are also a friendly and united

country who will welcome other countries with open arms.”

Massimo Caiazza from South Australia said, “I was in my mum’s tummy when she went to the Olympics in

Sydney. She has always said how great it was having them here. I think it would be even better if the World

Cup was to come here.”

Blake Varga from Queensland said, “I have played since I was old enough to kick a ball. It’s a big part of

my life. My family are all huge football fans too and I am really looking forward to helping put Australia’s case


Claudia Favata from Victoria said, “I really want the World Cup to come here so we get better stadiums,

bigger crowds, greater memberships and more imports to our country. Aussies are united behind the game.

It would be the best game in the world meeting the best country in the world – Australia.”


For further information and to organise an interview, please contact: Kate McQuestin on 0419 591 150

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Facts and figures on the FIFA World Cup:

The FIFA World Cup™ is the largest single sporting event in the world – it’s bigger than the

Olympics Games.

The FIFA World Cup™ tournament has been running for almost eight decades, occurring every four


The next FIFA World Cup™ will be in South Africa in 2010 followed by Brazil in 2014.

The FIFA World Cup™ is hosted by a country (or countries), rather a city.

The FIFA World Cup™ generally comprises 64 games.

The Asian region, which Australia is part of, is the fastest growing region in world football and the

region with the most potential and capacity to grow the game.

26.3 billion people tuned into watch the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ around the world – the largest

television viewing came from the Asian region (approximately 35% of the cumulative television


To put this in perspective the Australia 2003 Rugby World Cup had a global audience of 3.4 billion.

It is anticipated that the cumulative television audience for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South

Africa will reach 40 billion people.

The last FIFA World Cup™, held in Germany, attracted 2 million international visitors, 3.3 million

spectators, almost 19,000 accredited media and $2 billion in worldwide retails sales of licensed


There are eight bidders for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, including:
















United States

For the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, the same eight countries are also bidding. They are joined by

Qatar and Korea Republic, bringing the total number of bidders to 10. The two winning bidders will

earn the right to host the FIFA World Cup™, in either June/July 2018 or June/July 2022, as well as

the FIFA Confederations Cup (held in the preceding year).

It is not possible for two countries from the same confederation to be consecutive hosts.  For

example, if England was to win in 2018, no other European bidder is eligible for 2022.

Bidding countries must demonstrate:


Compliance with the bidding process, bidding registration and bidding agreement


Anticipated impact on the game, and on society as a whole, in both the host country and



Support for the bid from the Government, the general public and football community


Infrastructure and management capabilities to host the tournament


An innovative and meaningful legacy programme for after the event

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