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Clear way for Saudi Arabia: Australia has decided not to bid for the World Cup

Clear way for Saudi Arabia: Australia has decided not to bid for the World Cup

Football World Cup 2034

Updated on October 31, 2023 at 9:56 am

Australia has had some great women’s football this summer. But in 2034 there will be no men’s World Cup on the fifth continent. On the contrary, there is an opportunity to host Saudi Arabia.

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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 in a statement.

The deadline for expressions of interest to world body FIFA closes today, Tuesday. Saudi Arabia hosts world football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo Already brought into its own league and looking to build an international reputation as an organizer in multiple sports, has already made his intentions clear and is considered the obvious choice.

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.

Saudi Arabia to host World Cup: Germany’s review

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.

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. (dpa/lh)

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Teaser Image: © Tom Weller/dpa