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Australia, New Zealand want Oceania disbanded

Sydney: Australia and New Zealand officials want Fifa to scrap the Oceania confederation and let them play in Asia after the organisation reversed a decision to grant the region an automatic place in the 2006 World Cup.

Australia coach Frank Farina said it was pointless having an Oceania confederation when the sport’s global governing body refused to give it direct entry into the World Cup.

“My feeling is we should disband it,” Farina said. “What’s the point of Oceania without a World Cup' If we are a confederation, we should enjoy the same privileges as all the others.”

Soccer New Zealand chief executive Bill McGowan said that Oceania would be better off merging with the Asian Football Confederation.

“What Fifa need to do now is be very up-front with Oceania, they can’t just chuck us in the water and forget about us,” McGowan said.

“There was talk about splitting Asia into regions — east and west — and merging Oceania into an eastern grouping. To me, that could make a lot of sense.”

But Oceania president Basil Scarsella, who stormed out of the fifa meeting in Paris on Friday when it decided to reverse its decision on World Cup qualification, urged officials against making rash decisions.

“Before you knock the tent down, you have to make sure you have a hut to go to otherwise you get left in the cold,” he said.

Victoria to rethink bid

Meanwhile, the Australian state of Victoria would reconsider a bid for the 2014 World Cup finals after Fifa “welched” on a deal to give Oceania a guaranteed berth in the 2006 tournament, Premier Steve Bracks said on Monday, adds a report from Melbourne.

“I think it has to come under reconsideration given the behaviour of the soccer administration world wide,” he said.

“I mean, to welch on a deal ... you have to really doubt the veracity of the organisation itself and whether you want to be involved in staging anything here in Australia.

“I couldn’t as a premier commit resources from the Victorian government to an organisation who treats its own members that way, effectively to simply rip up agreements they have.”

Victoria, with a number of other Australian states, had intended to bid to host World Cup events in 2014. (Agencies)

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