Australia pull out of 2018 World Cup bid

JOHANNESBURG - Australia has pulled out of bidding to host the 2018 World Cup finals and will instead focus on hosting the 2022 tournament, the country's football federation (FFA) said on Thursday.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement that following months of discussions with FIFA it had decided to "leave the field for 2018 to European contenders."

Earlier this week the Asian Football Confederation failed to back Australia's bid.

"I want to assure Europe on behalf of AFC that we recognise and support their desire to host the 2018 edition," AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam told delegates at an AFC extraordinary meeting on Tuesday.

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