With Australia on the verge of winning the Asian Cup for the first time (playing in the final against South Korea) it seems there’s a movement within the AFC to kick them out of the confederation, stemming from pure jealousy and disappointment, mostly on the part of the Arab Gulf nations, frustrated that there’s yet another big player on the field that’s better than them.
If Australia make it and beat South Korea in the final, they’ll be the reigning champions of both the nations and club competitions. The final will be held in Sydney. Qualifying twice to the World Cup since joining the Asian qualifiers is seen by those seeking to expel them from the confederation as “Stealing a spot that they deserve” although there are many that believe that it’s ridiculous that Oceania have a separate confederation and should be fully incorporated with Asia.
Speaking to a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa spoke about being aware that there’s momentum building for Australia’s removal from the confederation with the momentum building among the Gulf nations, but that the “Arabs aren’t the only ones” trying to leave Australia out of their own competitions after joining in 2006 from Oceania.
Australia joined the AFC before I was elected as the president. At that time, the AFC general assembly made no resolution about re-assessing Australia’s membership to determine whether it will stay or be evicted. There are indications that prove that such desire exists among the confederations of west Asia to evict Australia. But I also know that the Arabs are not the only ones who are not convinced that Australia’s membership in Asia’s football is feasible.
And why? While some are suggesting that Australia are getting more than they’re giving in this relationship (whatever the hell that means), this is simply a case of sour grapes. Nations that are failing time and time again to reach the World Cup or succeed in the Asian Cup are also fearing the rise of China and India as regional powers, although that might take much longer to be accomplished. If Australia weren’t so successful, this wouldn’t have been brought up.