Encouraged by FIFA’s positive response to its co-hosting of the women’s tournament, Australia is considering a candidacy for the 2034 Men’s World Cup.

Concerns over shady dealings led to just one vote from FIFA officials in a previous effort to award the 2022 men’s tournament to Australia.

Following a spate of corruption discoveries, FIFA implemented many reforms. These include openly publishing inspection scores and having all 211 member countries vote on World Cup hosts instead of a closed, secret committee.

Australia are successfully hosting Women’s World Cup

Australia is now eyeing a candidacy for the new 32-team quadrennial men’s Club World Cup as a chance to host a major international competition on several fronts. James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, recently expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the Women’s World Cup in an interview with Sky News.

“We’re so happy with how the Women’s World Cup is panning out. I think we’ve shown the world that we can host top-tier competitions here in Australia. There’s an opportunity to perhaps bid for the 2029 (men’s) Club World Cup and the 2030 Men’s World Cup. And that’s something we’re looking into at the moment.

“It would require support from our government. It would require us to find co-hosts in our region. So we’re looking at our different options that are available. We’d like to use the success of the Women’s World Cup as a springboard to bid for other top-tier competitions.”

Would the time zone be problem?

The first Women’s World Cup featuring a field of 32 teams, has been co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, by 2026, the number of participating nations in the Men’s World Cup will increase to 48. In all, there will be 104 matches for countries to prepare for, up from 64. Qatar hosted the last tournament, which included 32 teams, in 2017.

“I don’t think it is an unfavorable time zone”, James Johnson added. “If you look at countries like China or India or even the United States, these are some of the biggest countries in the world. But soccer is not the biggest sport in these countries.

“So when you play competitions in this part of the world in this time zone, that’s the audience that you’re tapping into. And if we want to be the biggest sport in the world, and we are the biggest sport in the world, but in the biggest markets, I think we need more competitions in these types of time zones.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / AAP