Saudi Arabia sole bidder to host 2034 World Cup,Australia drops out

JEDDAH-The likelihood of Saudi Arabia hosting the men’s 2034 World Cup has surged after the Australian football federation withdrew from the bidding contest.

Saudi Arabia was the only football association to present a bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup before the deadline closed, soccer's global governing body said. (Photo by Saudi Football Federation).

With FIFA’s Tuesday deadline for bid submissions passed, Saudi Arabia emerges as the sole declared candidate.

Football Australia, in a statement, cited a comprehensive consideration of factors for its decision not to bid for the 2034 competition.

While FIFA’s formal approval of Saudi Arabia as the host is pending until next year, victory appears imminent for the Kingdom, marking the realization of its ambitious endeavors to establish a significant presence in global sports.

The fast-tracked 2034 hosting race, limited to member federations in Asia and Oceania, was initiated following the awarding of the 2030 World Cup to a joint bid by Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.

The Saudi football federation promptly declared its candidacy, receiving backing from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Indonesia initially considered a joint bid with Australia, alongside Malaysia and Singapore, but ultimately supported Saudi Arabia.

Australia’s focus now shifts to securing hosting rights for the 2029 Club World Cup and the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, set to host the men’s Asian Cup in 2027, has initiated a comprehensive construction program to develop and renovate stadiums in preparation for the World Cup.

With over 50 successful international events hosted since 2018, Saudi Arabia has garnered recognition as a host for major global sporting events, spanning football, motorsports, tennis, equestrian, esports, and golf.

The Kingdom’s bid for the 2034 World Cup has received widespread support, with over 100 football federations from the Arab, Asian, and African continents pledging their full support.

Saudi Arabia is actively working on stadium construction, aligning with FIFA standards, ensuring a minimum of 40,000 seats for fans.

The Kingdom already possesses two stadiums with capacities exceeding 62,000 seats and plans to build additional stadiums in Riyadh, Qiddiya, NEOM, Jeddah, and Dammam.

Ongoing efforts include the development and modernization of stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Taif, and Buraidah to meet FIFA standards for the World Cup.(SG)


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