Australia opts out of 2011 AFC Asian Cup bid

Football Federation Australia has opted not to submit a formal bid for the staging of the 2011 Asian Cup by Thursday's deadline after the Asian Football Confederation circulated a proposal that the 2011 event should be staged in a country in either West Asia or Central and South Asia. The earliest Australia can now realistically hope to stage the tournament is 2015, when it is scheduled to be held in either East Asia or ASEAN, the latter of which Australia is currently a guest member. The Australian decision preempeted the formal ratification of the proposed rotation policity at the AFC Congress in May.

We'd love to host the Asian Cup. It's very much on our radar and we're continuing to discuss it informally with the AFC," the FFA's head of marketing, communication and strategy Geoff Parmenter told Reuters. "(But) If the allocation process for 2011 is rigid and we can't bid then we'd certainly be interested in 2015."

The AFC's director of communication Clare Kenny said the announcement of the host nation for the 2011 Asian Cup is expected to be made on the eve of this year's final in Jakarta. The list of nominations would not be revealed until after Thursday's deadline, she added, although Bahrain, India and Iran have all publicly indicated plans to bid. Qatar has expressed interest in bidding for 2015, although it is in West Asia.

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