Australia's World Cup bid has suffered an untimely setback with Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam effectively promising his vote to Qatar to host the 2022 tournament.
Bin Hammam's comments couldn't come at a worse time for Football Federation Australia, which has spent the past three days trying to impress a six-man FIFA inspection team in town to assess the country's bid credentials.
Qatari Hammam, one of 24 FIFA executives who will vote on hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments on December 2nd in Zurich, has vowed to support his home nation unless it is not a realistic chance.
Qatar has emerged as one of Australia's biggest rivals for the 2022 tournament, with the US another strong candidate and South Korea and Japan also in the running.
The six FIFA delegates in Australia were shown a presentation on the 10 potential host cities and 12 stadiums at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on final day of their three-day visit yesterday.