It’s the beginning of the end of a very long process but in a few short hours the world will know who is hosting the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
In the early hours of the morning, the countries bidding for the cup made their final presentations to the all-male FIFA panel.
But it was Australia’s presentation that turned heads around the world and back at home.
Australia opened the presentations in a light-hearted manner with a film pulling out larrikin actor Paul Hogan, who pursued a World Cup-snatching cartoon kangaroo across the wide brown land.
The video, directed by Phillip Noyce, divided Australians: some for and some against.
Australia’s World Cup Bid Video
Some in the Twittersphere were highly critical of the Australian delegation’s attempt to show the ‘real’ Australia.
“Goodbye World Cup,” said Justin Fleysman on Twitter.
Will Grant said: “Lame. What about it would make you say ‘There’s the place to hold the World Cup!’?”
“Amateur hour compared to the US & Qatari videos…feels like it’s been thought up by someone with no connection to football,” said Mikael Liddy.
On the other hand, Cup hopefuls like Chris Naylor said: “Hearing so many people dis the #ausbid preso. Newsflash! It wasn’t meant for you! It was meant for a bunch of old business guys!”
Bid video ‘boosted cup chances’
Bid boss Frank Lowy believes Australia’s prospects of staging the World Cup may have increased on the eve of the hosting announcement in Zurich.
When asked on about Australia’s chances of winning enough votes, he said: “I think if anything, they have increased.”
He felt he received a warm reception from the FIFA delegates and he appeared to command the room as well as any other speaker on the day.
“As I was walking off some of the executive committee members got up and shook my hand,” he said.
“I felt they were impressed with the presentation. It would be difficult not to be even if I say so myself.”
SBS Football Analyst Les Murray was in Zurich for the final presentation.
“What’s with all the film critics commenting on Oz bid presentation? What matters is the Exco and film critics they are not,” Les Murray said, in a post on Twitter.
“A good day in Zurich for Australia. Body language all round good re presentation. The uneducated hostiles will have egg on face tomorrow,” he said.
But industry experts don’t entirely agree.
David Spasovic from Ikon Communications said the bid could have incorporated a representation of established stars as well as rising stars to attract younger audiences.
“Crocodile Dundee hasn’t really been that active since 1986. Might have been nice to have little kids talk about their dreams of being the next world class soccer player and how having the world cup here would help them fulfil their dreams, rather than having our Prime Minister talking about a kangaroo who stole a trophy,” said Mr Spasovic.
SBS will broadcast LIVE the announcement of the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups at 1.55am (AEDT) on Friday 3 December on SBS ONE and via a livestream online.