Kiwis dreaming big in World Cup bid

THE man credited with making the Rugby World Cup a success four years ago has embarked on his most ambitious project - bringing the FIFA World Cup to New Zealand in either 2026 or 2030.

Martin Snedden, head of the 2011 Rugby World Cup organising committee, believes the goal is attainable.

He says the country's success in hosting two major sports events in the past four years demonstrates it has the capability and infrastructure to support such a massive undertaking, though realistically it would be done with Australia as cricket's World Cup was this year.

Snedden, also the former head of the Tourism Industry Association, said he could see a scenario in which New Zealand hosted two or three of the eight pools and some knockout matches, with the rest being hosted here.

The former Kiwi cricketer (pictured) said the first task was to engage the major stakeholders in New Zealand - the government, local authorities and New Zealand Football - and move the conversation beyond the default position of "we're too small and the event's too big".

Snedden has identified three phases to the process: get the NZ stakeholders on board, convince the Australians they could work with NZ on a strong bid, and start lobbying the Asia and Oceania confederations and FIFA.

He said the first two phases would take some time but not a lot of money and would give a clear signal as to whether phase three was feasible.

"From where I'm sitting now, I want to see us give something a real crack that we didn't think we could do," Snedden said.