No OFC vote 'awkward' for Australia bid

SYDNEY - Australia's bid chairman fears the country's hopes of staging the 2022 World Cup could suffer after Oceania were denied a chance to vote on the hosts when their banned president appealed his suspension by FIFA.

Reynald Temarii had previously said he would vote for Australia but was banned earlier this month after being found guilty by football's world governing body of ethics violations and suspended for one year.

Acting Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) President David Chung flew to Zurich earlier this week hoping to vote along with 22 members of the FIFA executive committee but was denied a chance by Temarii deciding on Tuesday he would appeal.

"I sincerely hope it will not depend on one vote," Lowy told Australian reporters. "It is awkward but we are not in charge of the awkwardness.

"We are just at work doing our best to make sure that as many friends as we can have on the executive committee will be voting for us."

Australia are bidding to host the tournament for the first time and are up against Japan, South Korea, Qatar and the United States.

Throughout the campaign Australia have been considered outsiders and, although ranked as a low legal risk by FIFA in their technical report earlier this month, concerns were raised about low television income should they host the event.

Australia have also had to overcome earlier problems of groundsharing with the more popular home sports of Australian Rules Football, rugby union and rugby league but Lowy is convinced those problems are behind them and will not be an issue.

"If we get it, we will make it as good a World Cup as has ever been before," he said.