Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Warren was a player on the only Australian team to so far qualify for the World Cup finals. The Australian team, known as the Socceroos, competed at the 1974 World Cup in Group A with West Germany, East Germany and Chile. Australia's sole point came from a 0-0 draw with Chile.
Warren retired after playing 62 games for Australia as a mid-fielder. After his playing career, Warren became a strong champion of the sport in Australia and spent his life trying to promote the game in a country dominated by other football codes. He was a regular television presenter on the SBS network as well as an administrator and public diplomat for the game. Warren frequently argued strongly for abolition of the Oceania Football Confederation, claiming that the OFC offered nothing to either the world game or to the nations that comprised the confederation. (The OFC currently does not have a direct qualification route to the World Cup. Instead, the OFC champion must play another sudden-death series against a single team from either South America or Asia team for the final World Cup berth.) Warren favoured a merge between the Oceania and Asian confederations that would allow the OFC nations to play in a regular qualification series, instead of the current sudden-death matches.
Warren's publicly held belief was that if Australia's strong sporting tradition was focused on soccer then Australia could be a world power in the game. One of his famous quotes on the matter was "I'm sick of us saying, 'When are we going to qualify for the World Cup'? When are we going to win the World Cup? ... Call me a dreamer." His comments came shortly after Australia had defeated England 3-1 in a friendly featuring a full-strength English side, and several Confederations Cup wins over France and Brazil when Australia took third place at the 2001 Confederations Cup in a 1-0 playoff win over Brazil. Warren claimed that these results showed that Australia was a much more powerful soccer nation than many gave it credit for. At the time, Australia was reigning world champion in the other international codes of football - Rugby Union and Rugby League. However, many believe that Australia will never be taken seriously as a football nation until it regularly qualifies for the World Cup Finals. Warren wept openly on national television in 1997 when two very late goals by Iran resulted in a 2-2 draw against the Socceroos in the final World Cup qualifying match and sent Iran to the .
In 2003 Warren publicly announced that he has battling lung cancer. Several months later FIFA president Sepp Blatter presented a frail Warren with the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit for his services to the game in Australia.
His last public appearance was made during the launch of the new Australian domestic football league, branded the A-League (not to be confused with the American soccer league with the same name), which replaced the previous National Soccer League.
He lost his battle with cancer on November 6th 2004, and died at Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
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