Today, the Australian soccer team plays a match against Saudi-Arabia in the qualification rounds for the World Cup. Qualifications for the World Cup are usually organized per continent; e.g. Europe (the UEFA) has its own tournament where only European countries compete. Presumably, Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation and since then competes in the Asian qualifiers, but why did they make this move? I can think of a few reasons:
- Better chance of qualification (Australia's home continent, Oceania, has only 'half a place' in the World Cup, the winner of the qualifiers needs to win another play-off against another country)
- Better opposition during the qualification (this is actually mentioned on Wikipedia, but you can also play friendly matches against better teams)
- They expected more income (tickets sold, TV broadcasting rights)
Are there any references for these possible reasons, and what was/were the decisive one(s)?