Saudi Arabia to host 2034 FIFA showcase



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Saudi Arabia set to host 2034 after withdrawal of Australia Image: Coliseum GSVA

Saudi Arabia has all but sealed the hosting rights for the 2034 FIFA World Cup™ after Australia pulled out of the race hours before the FIFA deadline on October 31st (FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed on social media already).

‘inside the games’ stated that the Middle East giants threw their hat in the ring soon after the world football governing body announced recently that the 2034 edition can only be held in Asia or Oceania.

The 2034 FIFA World Cup™ will be the 25th FIFA World Cup™, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. FIFA restricted the hosting eligibility to Asia or Oceania after it made the controversial decision to host the 2030 World Cup in three continents (Africa, Europe and South America).

The Fédération internationale de football association, abbreviated as FIFA, is the international governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal. It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, its membership now comprises 211 national associations.

‘inside the games’ further stated that the Gulf nation soon gathered plenty of support, including the backing of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, as Australia emerged as the only challenger.

But the co-hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup decided against it and instead will concentrate on the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the 2029 Club World Cup.

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal in most countries/territories in Asia. It has 47 members.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ was the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, the quadrennial international women’s football championship contested by the women’s national teams and organized by FIFA. The tournament, which took place from July 20th to August 20th, 2023, was jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. It was the first FIFA Women’s World Cup™ with more than one host nation, as well as the first World Cup to be held across multiple confederations, as Australia is in the Asian confederation, while New Zealand is in the Oceanian confederation. It was also the first Women’s World Cup to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

A statement from Football Australia read, “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. Instead, we believe we are in a strong position to host the oldest women’s international competition in the world, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026, and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup™. Achieving this – following the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ and with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games – would represent a truly golden decade for Australian football. For international tournament hosting, the Australian time zones provide significant opportunities for broadcasters and we are within touching distance of billions of people in Asia and Oceania, which also helps to provide a strong commercial outlook for competitions.”

The AFC Congress last month saw the likes of Japan, Uzbekistan and India backing the Saudi bid.

Australia had hopes previously when Indonesia announced its intention of a joint bid only to do a U-turn a week later and back the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia will be the second Gulf country to host the World Cup in a span of 12 years after fierce rivals Qatar staged the event last year.

The FIFA boss Gianni Infantino was recently pictured along with bin Salman during the launch of mega prize money annual Esports World Cup, an industry that the country has invested heavily in.

Jeddah has already been chosen to host this year’s men’s FIFA Club World Cup™, and a bid from the country for the 2035 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ has been mooted.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada – the first hosted by three countries.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco will almost certainly host the centennial FIFA World Cup™ in 2030, requiring just the formalities of a successful bidding process and ratification by next year’s FIFA Congress.

Plans for special one-off matches in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay are also in place.

Football Australia is the governing body of soccer, futsal and beach soccer within Australia, headquartered in Sydney. Although the first governing body of the sport was founded in 1911, Football Australia in its current form was only established in 1961 as the Australian Soccer Federation.

The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is a quadrennial competition in women’s football for national teams which belong to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). It is the oldest women’s international football competition and premier women’s football competition in the AFC region for the national teams.

The 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will be the 21st edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the quadrennial international football tournament in Asia competed by the women’s national teams in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The FIFA Club World Cup™ is an international men’s association football competition organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport’s global governing body. The competition was first contested in 2000 as the FIFA Club World Championship. Australia is strongly positioned to host the 2029 edition.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad and also known as Brisbane 2032, is an upcoming international multisport event scheduled to take place between July 23rd-August 8th, 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
 

Football Australia Stance

‘news.com.au’ stated that Football Australia has ruled out making an official bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup™, and will instead throw its hat in the running to stage a major international club tournament five years earlier.

With the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) having thrown its support behind Saudi Arabia to host the World Cup in 11 years’ time, Football Australia has made the wise and financially sensible decision not to also bid for the event.

Football Australia has instead stated its intention to bid for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup™, as well as the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

‘news.com.au’ further stated that a Football Australia statement read, “Following a successfully hosted and record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia New Zealand 2023™, which welcomed nearly two million people to matches across Australia and New Zealand, Football Australia is ambitious to bring more major tournaments to our shores. 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 is the number one participation sport in Australia and, in many respects, is reflective of our nation’s diverse population. Football Australia remains committed to contributing positively to the growth and success of football at all levels, including locally, as part of the AFC and globally as part of FIFA. We wish FIFA and the eventual hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2034™ the greatest success for the good of the game and for everyone who loves our sport.”

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