Melbourne - A consultant employed in Australia's bid for the 2022 Soccer World Cup believes it failed because it "played it clean."
Australia spent $45m on its bid but won only one of 22 votes from FIFA's executive committee before the 2022 tournament was awarded to Qatar.
Peter Hargitay, a former aide to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, said in an interview on Monday with SBS television that "the fundamental mistake we made ... is that we played it clean."
He said Football Federation Australia chairperson Frank Lowy, who headed the Australian bid team, had insisted it should run an open and clean campaign.
Hargitay told SBS Television he was surprised Qatar had won the 2022 Cup because it was not a popular choice. He said Blatter had contacted Australia's bid team after the vote and said he was devastated with the outcome.
"What do you think motivates people, 14 of them, right, to vote for a country, the population of which is roughly the size of Zurich?" he said. "To vote for a country that is the size of Fiji. To vote for a country where the infrastructure to play host to millions of fans still has to be created.
"I could go on with the list, but you go figure how could 14 men take that decision."