A star-studded Socceroos line-up could play a World Cup qualifier in Perth next year under plans being hatched by WA's peak soccer body.
Football West chief executive Peter Hugg confirmed yesterday discussions had taken place with Football Federation Australia and the State Government regarding international soccer's WA return.
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Australia's under-23 side, the Olyroos, are also on a proposed soccer menu and could be lured to Perth before the end of the year to play an Olympic qualifier.
"It's part of our strategic plan to bring major matches to Perth," Hugg said yesterday.
The Socceroos have not played in Perth since a 2005 friendly at Subiaco Oval against Indonesia, which attracted just 13,719 fans despite the presence of some big-name players including WA's Stan Lazaridis and Blackburn Rovers duo Lucas Neill and Brett Emerton.
Since then, successive World Cup appearances in 2006 and 2010 have greatly increased the Socceroos profile and a much bigger turnout would be expected for an important qualifier.
The inclusion of star players such as Neill, who is now Socceroos skipper, Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, and Mark Schwarzer would guarantee a strong attendance.
Football West could learn as early as this week if their bid to bring the Olyroos to Perth has been successful. The team last played in WA seven years ago when a friendly against South Korea drew just over 6000 fans to nib Stadium.
"It's looking positive for an Olyroos match in the lead-up to London 2012," Hugg said. "We've put in a request for significant Government funding and we hope to receive a positive answer shortly."
The State Government, through Eventscorp, joined the push to make Perth a regular host of high-profile soccer matches when it committed funds to Saturday's friendly between Scottish Premier League club Celtic and Perth Glory.
Celtic, one of the world's most famous clubs, played their part in attracting 15,350 fans to nib Stadium, which would be used to host an Olyroos match. Patersons Stadium would be the preferred venue for a Socceroos game.
Tourism Minister Kim Hames confirmed the Government's intention to develop Perth as a venue for high-profile soccer matches.
"We are keen to work in partnership with local and national football bodies to attract the world's biggest teams to WA," he said.
London Olympics, Asian qualifiers
September 21: Australia v United Arab Emirates
November 23: Iraq v Australia
November 27: Australia v Uzbekistan
February 5, 2012: Uzbekistan v Australia
February 22: UAE v AustraliaMarch 14: Australia v Iraq
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