Saudi Arabia has officially submitted its bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034 after FIFA restricted the process to countries from Oceania and Asia. Australia, initially seen as a potential challenger, has decided not to bid. FIFA received a single bid from the Saudi Football Federation.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino noted that the bidding processes were approved by consensus via the FIFA Council, following constructive dialogue and extensive consultation. Football Australia stated that, after exploring the opportunity, it had decided not to bid for the 2034 competition.
The decision aligns with Football Australia’s ambition to bring more major tournaments to the country. They are focusing on hosting the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2029. Hosting these events, alongside the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, would complete a “truly golden decade for Australian football.”
Amnesty International has called for “human rights commitments” to be agreed with potential hosts before any final decision is made. They stress that FIFA must ensure host countries comply with human rights policies and be prepared to halt the bidding process if serious human rights risks are not credibly addressed.
With the 2026 World Cup hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the 2030 World Cup planned for Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and South America (subject to FIFA Congress approval), only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation were considered for the 2034 tournament.
Hosting the World Cup would be a significant step in Saudi Arabia’s investment in sports and its aim to become a leading nation in world sport. The Saudi bid has already received support from the Asian Football Confederation.
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