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Australia opts against 2034 World Cup bid, paving way for Saudi Arabia to host

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 Oct 2023

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Australia has opted against a bid to host the 2034 World Cup with Saudi Arabia on course to stage the tournament.

With FIFA’s deadline for declarations of interest on Tuesday, Football Australia issued a statement saying it had “explored the opportunity” of a bid but had decided against it.

“Having taken all factors into consideration, we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” the statement said.

“Football Australia is ambitious to bring more major tournaments to our shores. We believe we are in a strong position to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.”

It said hosting those events, in between the 2023 Women’s World Cup and 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, would complete a “truly golden decade for Australian football”.

Saudia Arabia announced its declaration of interest within hours of FIFA outlining the process for hosting the 2034 tournament.

The awarding of the 2026 finals to the United States, Canada and Mexico followed by Spain, Portugal and Morocco being set to host the 2030 finals – subject to formal approval by FIFA’s congress – means that only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation will be considered for the 2034 finals.

Saudi Arabia confirmed on October 4 that it would bid for the showpiece tournament in 2034 when Saudi Minister of Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said in a statement via the Saudi Press Agency: “Hosting a FIFA World Cup in 2034 would help us achieve our dream of becoming a leading nation in world sport and would mark a significant milestone in the country’s transformation.

“As an emerging and welcoming home for all sports, we believe that hosting a FIFA World Cup is a natural next step in our football journey.”

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