In a surprising turn of events, Australia announced on Tuesday its decision to withdraw its bid for hosting the 2034 FIFA Men’s World Cup.
The move came as Football Australia made an official statement on the October 31 deadline, citing the overwhelming support thrown behind Saudi Arabia by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as a decisive factor in their decision.
“We have explored the opportunity to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and, having taken all factors into consideration, we reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” stated Football Australia in their press release.
The bidding process was initiated by FIFA, inviting bids exclusively from the Asia and Oceania regions, following the joint announcement of Morocco, Spain, and Portugal as the hosts for the 2030 World Cup.
Initially, there were speculations about a potential joint bid from Indonesia and Australia for the 2034 World Cup. However, Indonesia recently expressed its unequivocal support for the Saudi Arabian bid, further solidifying the Gulf nation’s position as the top contender.
Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of hosting the 2034 World Cup marks yet another milestone in their ongoing campaign to establish the kingdom as a global sports powerhouse. This aspiration follows the successful hosting of the 2022 World Cup by neighboring Qatar, which was the first-ever World Cup held in the Middle East.
Australia is not deterred by this decision and has set its sights on hosting other major international soccer events. The country aims to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and 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,” remarked Football Australia.
Australia and New Zealand recently co-hosted the Women’s World Cup, an event that garnered widespread acclaim and was considered a resounding success.
As the world eagerly awaits the official announcement of the host nation for the 2034 FIFA Men’s World Cup, the spotlight is now firmly on Saudi Arabia as they strive to secure the rights to host one of the most prestigious sporting events on the planet.