SYDNEY - Australia's failure to secure the 2022 World Cup - awarded to Qatar on Thursday - will in no way stunt the growth of football in Australia, the domestic league's chief said on Friday.
A-League boss Lyall Gorman said that to have won the staging rights would have been a "turbo charge" for the league but that he was still confident Australian football would not lose momentum and that publicity generated by the unsuccessful bid could attract new fans to the sport.
"It's brought a focus on our game," Gorman told news agency AAP. "There's not a person I've come across in Australia that's not aware of the World Cup bid and the A-League.
"So in terms of taking away momentum, it's just put a tremendous focus on our game which is healthy."
Leading politicians voiced their disappointment at the results of the votes at the Zurich headquarters of world football's governing body where FIFA awarded the 2018 tournament to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar.
"I think everybody is disappointed and those who worked so hard on what was a great bid were very disappointed," Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters in Brisbane.
Federal opposition leader Tony Abbot said: "I think our bid deserved a better reception than it was given.
"We are very good at hosting these big sporting events. We would have run a really classy football World Cup. We now won't get that chance, at least not before the next round of bidding."
Australia had been bidding with eventual winners Qatar, Japan, South Korea and the United States, but were eliminated in the first round with just one vote from the 22 FIFA executive committee members.