AUSTRALIA joined the Asian Football Confederations (AFC) in January 2006 because it gives them a much easier chance of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup finals. even the official from the AFC welcomes the newest member to join in the family.
as Asia got 4 places in the World Cup finals at the moment, AUSTRALIA has much better chance in Asia rather than in the Oceania as the winners of the Oceania section have to play usually against the South American teams which is far more stronger opposition to get to the World Cup.
further more, the Oceania section is the weakest among the 6 confederations & they currently do not have an automatic spot in the World Cup finals. previously the FIFA president, Sepp Blatter has given Oceania an automatic spot in the World Cup but his decision was later reversed & that has angered many fans particularly AUSTRALIA fans.
anyway, AUSTRALIA's next appearance in the major international tournament will be the 2007 AFC Asian Cup finals as they have booked their place in the finals. the 2007 AFC Asian Cup is jointly hosted by 4 countries: Malaysia, Thaliand, Indonesia & Vietnam from 07 July 2007 to 29 July 2007.