Australia has confirmed it will not bid to host the men’s World Cup in 2034, leaving Saudi Arabia as the only nation to host the tournament.
FIFA has set a deadline of 31 October 2023 for all countries to submit their bid to host the 2034 tournament, with Saudi Arabia declaring its intentions for the 9th time to help unite the world through football.”
After Saudi Arabia went ahead with its bid, FIFA invited countries in Asia and Oceania – a part of the world that has not hosted a men’s World Cup since 2002 – but the only country with a strong interest, Australia, decided not to enter the competition.
In a statement released by Football Australia, the nation confirmed it would instead focus its attention on hosting the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup, the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup and the 2032 Olympics.
“Following the successful hosting and record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia New Zealand 2023™, which welcomed almost two million people to matches across Australia and New Zealand, Football Australia is ambitious to bring more major tournaments to our shores.
“We have explored the possibility of bidding to host the FIFA World Cup and – after considering all factors – have come to the conclusion that we will not do so for the 2034 competition.
“Instead, we believe we are in a strong position to host the world’s oldest women’s international competition, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026, and then welcome the biggest teams in world football to the FIFA Club World Cup 2029. Achieving this – the next FIFA World Cup women’s in Australia and New Zealand in 2023 and with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics – would represent a truly golden decade for Australian football.
“This would be supported by the opportunity for our men’s and women’s teams to compete in major tournaments including the FIFA World Cup 2026 and 2030, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027 and 2031, the AFC Asian Cup 2023, 2027 and 2031 and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup. 2026 and 2030, at the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympic Games, as well as the biennial FIFA U-20 World Cup and FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
“We wish FIFA and the eventual hosts of the 2034 FIFA World Cup every success for the good of the game and for everyone who loves our sport.”
It would be only the second time a Middle Eastern country has hosted the World Cup, with Qatar controversially hosting in 2022. Like the World Cup in Qatar, the tournament hosted by Saudi Arabia was expected to be played in winter, causing more disruption football calendar.