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Canceled by Australia: Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup

Canceled by Australia: Saudi Arabia to host 2034 World Cup

Controversial decision Australia has not bid for the 2034 World Cup – to be hosted by Saudi Arabia

After Australia did not bid for the 2034 World Cup, Saudi Arabia will host the tournament

© Veem Mostafa/Backpagepix Staff / Picture Alliance

Australia has seen some great women’s football this summer. But in 2034 there will be no men’s World Cup on the fifth continent. Instead, Saudi Arabia is expected to host the tournament.

Australia will not bid for the 2034 Men’s World Cup, clearing the way for Saudi Arabia. “We have examined the possibility of applying to host the FIFA World Cup and, having considered all factors, have come to the conclusion that we will not do so for the 2034 tournament,” Football Association Australia (FA) said on Tuesday.

The deadline for expressions of interest to world body FIFA ends this Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, which has already brought world football stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo into its own league and wants to gain an international reputation as a host in several sports, has already made its intentions clear and is seen as the clear favourite.

Many countries support Saudi Arabia’s application

In early October, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) supported the Saudi application. Indonesia also expressed its support for Saudi Arabia after speculation of a joint application from Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand or Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. As a result, the Australians’ already slim chances plummeted to zero. However, the Australian Association’s statement did not mention Saudi Arabia or support the Gulf state’s application.

FIFA recently made a tentative decision to initially host the 2030 World Cup in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, as well as Morocco, Spain and Portugal, which still needs to be approved by the FIFA Congress. Therefore, only countries from Asia and Oceania can apply for the 2034 tournament. Saudi Arabia immediately announced its intentions. The decision was particularly criticized in Germany. Like previous World Cup host Qatar, Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its human rights record and sports-washing.

Human Rights Watch has criticized the possible World Cup in Saudi Arabia

For the head of Germany’s Human Rights Watch, a World Cup in Saudi Arabia is absurd. Wenzel Michalski, director of HRW Germany, told the German Press Agency that he thinks “nothing” about the 2034 World Cup there. “Because FIFA has set a human rights agenda that says World Cup organizers must respect human rights,” explained the director of Germany’s HRW.

“As far as we know, that’s not the case in Saudi Arabia.” According to him, the World Cup in Saudi Arabia is actually a betrayal of all those who believe that FIFA can implement its existing human rights standards. The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is worse than that of Qatar.

Instead, Australia wants to secure the hosting rights for the 2029 Club World Cup and the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup. Saudi Arabia has also applied for the latter. “We believe we are in a strong position to host the world’s oldest international women’s competition, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026, and then host the best teams in world football for the FIFA Club World Cup 2029,” the FA statement said.

Shit DPA