The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has secured the coveted hosting rights for the 2034 FIFA World Cup. This momentous occasion follows Australia’s withdrawal from the bidding process, which occurred on the deadline day. Saudi Arabia’s victory marks a significant milestone in the world of football, making it the second Arab nation to host this prestigious tournament after the successful 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
FIFA’s Call for Bids
The road to Saudi Arabia’s triumph began when FIFA officially called for bids from Asia and Oceania on October 4. This momentous announcement set the stage for various nations to step forward and vie for the honor of hosting the 2034 World Cup.
Asian Football Confederation’s Support
Saudi Arabia’s bid garnered immense support from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The president of AFC, in a powerful statement, declared that “the entire Asian football family” would rally behind Saudi Arabia’s bid. This collective show of support underlines the unity and solidarity within the Asian football community.
Indonesia’s Initial Joint Bid
Interestingly, Indonesia initially considered a joint bid with Australia, while Malaysia and Singapore were also part of the discussion. However, just a week after FIFA’s invitation, Indonesia decided to align itself with Saudi Arabia, a decision that further bolstered the Arab nation’s bid.
Australia’s Initial Interest
Australia, the land down under, had initially expressed interest in hosting the 2034 World Cup. Football Australia (FA) showed ambition and vision when FA boss James Johnson stated that the country was “exploring the possibility.” This initial enthusiasm hinted at Australia’s desire to become a host for this grand event.
Australia’s Decision to Withdraw
However, as the final day for bid submissions loomed, Australia made a surprising announcement. The country declared that it would not proceed with its bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. This decision came despite Australia’s successful hosting of the Women’s World Cup earlier that year.
Football Australia (FA) clarified its decision, stating, “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 would represent a truly golden decade for Australian football.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s successful bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup is a testament to their dedication and commitment to the world of football. As they prepare to welcome the world’s best teams and fans, it is a moment of immense pride for the nation and the entire Arab world.