Australia has officially withdrawn from the 2034 International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup bid, making Saudi Arabia the sole candidate to host the tournament.
The Football Association of Australia said on its website on Nov. 31: “We have kept our options open in relation to the World Cup bid. After reviewing all options, we have concluded that we will not bid for the 2034 tournament,” the organization said in a statement.
It added that it would focus on hosting the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2029.
Australia was originally expected to compete with Saudi Arabia for the 2034 World Cup in a joint bid with Indonesia.
An Australia-Indonesia alliance to challenge Saudi Arabia was expected after Indonesian Football Federation president Eriq Tohir told the Sydney Morning Herald on Nov. 11 that he was in talks with Australia.
However, on the 18th, the Indonesian Football Association suddenly reversed its position and declared its support for Saudi Arabia.
Australia also announced its official withdrawal, making it more likely that Saudi Arabia will be awarded the 2034 World Cup.
FIFA has ordered countries interested in hosting the 2034 World Cup to formally declare their intentions by Dec. 31 and submit the necessary documentation to be evaluated by Dec. 30 of the following month.
As of now, Saudi Arabia is the only country confirmed to have submitted a bid to FIFA.
If no additional bids are received by FIFA’s deadline, Saudi Arabia will be confirmed as the host.
The Saudi Football Association announced the submission of the letter of intent on Oct. 10, joining more than 70 FIFA member nations.
Saudi Arabia had originally sought a tri-continental bid for the 2030 World Cup alongside Egypt and Greece, but lost out and withdrew from the race in June.
The 2030 World Cup, which was abandoned by Saudi Arabia, will be a tri-continental event (Africa-Europe-South America) co-hosted by Morocco, Spain, and Portugal.
The 2026 World Cup will also be held in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, narrowing the field for the 2034 tournament to Asia and Oceania – not North and Central America, not Europe, not South America, and not Africa.
Facility requirements are important, with bids for the 2034 World Cup requiring at least 14 stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000 seats to host the group stages. At least seven of these must be existing stadiums.
Saudi Arabia, which is preparing to host the AFC Asian Cup in 2027, meets this requirement. At least seven stadiums have already been built and the rest are under construction. 토토사이트