FIFA has given Australia just 25 days to decide whether or not they want to host the 2034 World Cup. The move comes on the same day as Saudi Arabia announced their intentions to bid for the tournament. The world’s governing body of the sport has allocated the 2034 World Cup to Asia/Oceania.
James Johnson, the chief executive of Football Australia, has revealed that they are “exploring the possibility” of hosting the tournament. “We acknowledge FIFA’s communication regarding the FIFA World Cup 2034 and we are encouraged that after the hugely successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023,” stated Johnson.
“The football family of Asia and Oceania will once again have the opportunity to showcase their ability to welcome the world and host the best FIFA tournaments.”
Saudi receives major endorsement to host tournament
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia is already the frontrunner to host the 2034 competition. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has backed the Saudis and expressed his happiness with their bid. Salman also happens to be the FIFA council’s senior vice president.
“The entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative, and we are committed to working closely with the global football family to ensure its success,” proclaimed Salman.
Australia needs a co-host to join forces in bid
Australia would also need help from surrounding countries regarding their potential bid. FIFA rules state that any host needs a minimum of 14 stadiums. New Zealand would be the most logical choice to join forces with their neighbor. However, Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand could also become potential co-hosts.
FIFA has set a deadline for Australia to confirm their interest in the 2034 World Cup on Oct. 31. FIFA does not need formal bids by the nation or Saudi Arabia until July 2024. Then, FIFA will select the hosts for the tournament later next year. The governing body recently selected six countries from three different continents as hosts of the 2030 World Cup.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Avalon.red.
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