Saudi Arabia Host 2034 World Cup


Australia’s football association have announced that they will not bid for the 2034 men’s World Cup, clearing the way for Saudi Arabia to host the tournament.

FIFA had invited bids from Asia and Oceania for the tournament, with an October 31 deadline for national associations to confirm their interest in being hosts. Football Australia boss James Johnson had previously expressed interest in bidding for 2034, but the governing body said it would focus on bids for other international competitions.

“We have explored the opportunity to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and — having taken all factors into consideration — we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” Football Australia said in a statement yesterday.

Saudi Arabia announced it would bid for 2034 only minutes after FIFA’s invitation for bids from Asia and Oceania earlier this month.

Australia will no longer bid to host the 2034 World Cup and will instead attempt to secure hosting rights for the 2029 Club World Cup and the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.

The president of the Asian Football Confederation, the sport’s continental governing body to which Australia belongs, hailed Saudi Arabia’s bid and said “the entire Asian football family” would stand united in support of it.

Football Australia’s hopes of following this year’s Women’s World Cup, co-hosted with New Zealand, appeared dead in the water as soon as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) backed the Saudi bid.

There had appeared a glimmer of hope when Indonesia’s football association flagged interest in a joint bid with Australia earlier this month, but that faded when they backed Saudi Arabia days later.

Australia will instead attempt to secure hosting rights for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup, the latter a tournament Saudi Arabia has also bid for.