London, July 5 (ANI): German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has dropped a strong hint that he could back Australia's bid to host a FIFA World Cup.
Beckenbauer is a member of the 24-man executive committee of the world football governing body, which will decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December next year.
Asked about the 11-nation race to host the event, he said: "It's too far away, it's more than one year to go."
But when pressed on the chances of the most popular sporting tournament in the world heading Down Under, he gave a strong hint that his vote may be among the 13 needed, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
"Australia? I think they have a good chance because the World Cup's never been to Australia," Beckenbauer said. "Australia is a beautiful country, a beautiful continent."
Earlier, he told a media conference for Adidas, for which he is an ambassador, that Europe's football decision-makers want the World Cup to return to Europe in 2018, with South Africa hosting next year and Brazil in 2014.
"It will be Europe's turn. As a UEFA member, I would like to see it in Europe but it is an open race as to which country might get it," Beckenbauer said.
He said if the FIFA executive committee decided the 2018 would be in Europe, then "England could host it tomorrow because they have the stadiums, the infrastructure, the fans, everything."
"But there are a lot of other different countries bidding. Let's wait and see," he said. (ANI)