- FIFA has given Australia 25 days to bid for the 2034 World Cup
- Australia could battle it out for hosting rights with Saudi Arabia
- But the Asian confederation are backing the Saudi bid
Australia is still exploring a bid to host the men’s soccer World Cup in 2034 despite Asia’s football confederation throwing its support behind Saudi Arabia.
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson hasn’t directly addressed the Asian backing of the Saudi bid – a disaster for any Australian tender.
But he gave no indication it has tempered Australia’s interest in hosting the showpiece men’s tournament.
‘As stated previously, Football Australia is exploring the possibility of bidding for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup and/or the FIFA World Cup 2034,’ Johnson said in a statement on Thursday.
‘We are encouraged that after the hugely successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 the football family of Asia and Oceania will once again have the opportunity to showcase their ability to welcome the world and host the best FIFA tournaments.’
Australia could host the 2034 World Cup after FIFA opened the door for a bid
The nation successfully hosted the Women’s World Cup earlier this year
FIFA earlier on Thursday invited Asia and Oceania nations to bid for the 2034 tournament, with Saudi Arabia making an instant pitch.
‘HRH the Crown Prince: Saudi Arabia’s desire to bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup is a reflection of the country’s progress in all sectors,’ the Saudi Press Agency’s English outlet said.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) backed the Saudi bid.
‘The entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative,’ AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement on Thursday.
‘And we are committed to working closely with the global football family to ensure its success.’
Spain, Portugal and Morocco are likely co-hosts of the 2030 World Cup, with three South American countries to stage opening games to mark the centenary of the initial tournament in Uruguay.
Canada, Mexico and the USA will jointly host the 2026 edition.
But the Aussies face strong competition from Saudi Arabia to host the tournament