What Happens To Soccer In Australia Now?

Its 3am and I’ve just watch the announcement that Russia will host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup.

I thought the Russian bid looked great, the best of the 2018 bunch. Qatar, a country of just over 1 million people….well, I have said for months, if they really want the World Cup, they’ll just buy it.

So, with the decision done and dusted, where does this leave Soccer in Australia?

Soccer in Australia has gone through a lot of reforms over the last decade or so. From a new club competition in the A League, to moving from Oceania into the Asian conference, and then qualifying for two straight World Cups, its been a pretty good ride.

Still, there have been issues.

A League clubs have been bleeding so much red ink that teams have already fallen over or are dying on their feet as we speak. Crowd numbers for the A League have been falling over the last few seasons and the TV ratings have not been flash at all.

The Australian national team was disappointing in the World Cup in South Africa and you get the feeling there may be a few lean years ahead for us, we are no longer the up and comer we once were.

Still, none of that mattered because the focus was the 2022 World Cup. If Australia hosted that, things would change.

Now, that dream is gone, and Soccer in Australia is going to have to wait at least another 9 years to find out if it will get the boost it needs, which, at the earliest would be 2026!

So where does this leave soccer in Australia? Now it hasn’t got the dream to dangle in front of politicians, sponsors and fans, what will be the force that drives the game here?

As a country, Australia tends to to get a bee under its bonnet about certain sporting achievements, and we chase them hard. Look at the Americas Cup, hosting the Olympics and then qualifying for the Soccer World Cup.

When the country has that drive, the sport in focus gets so much momentum. Sometimes it is a fleeting moment, but other times, it can be carried forward and it can help a sport grow.

Now, Soccer in Australia hasn’t got that drive behind it. Now, it really is just a small club competition that is in a financially dire position, and a national team that really needs an influx of great talent to keep the national interest high.

You have to really fear about the future of Soccer in Australia now. It is a huge game for young kids, but once they get old enough to make a choice of what sport they play, they leave the sport in huge numbers to the point where senior Soccer in Australia is a shell of where it really should be.

Tough times ahead for Soccer. Its a shame we lost the bid, I thought it would have been great to have it here in Australia and the boost to facilities would have been fantastic for Rugby League.

Now, can we have that $45 million we spent on the bid process back?

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