Earlier this month, the Kingdom of Arabia lost its 2030 bid to a host of six countries.
Saudi Arabia is now preparing to receive its football dream to host the men’s 2034 FIFA World Cup after the Australian Football Federation declined to enter the bidding contest set for Tuesday.
FIFA had set October 31 as the deadline to submit a bid to host the tournament, however Australia’s governing body pulled out and stated it will focus its footballing efforts on other competitions instead.
The decision leaves Saudi Arabia as the only declared candidate.
“We have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” read a statement from the organisation’s website.
“We wish FIFA and the eventual hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2034™ the greatest success for the good of the game and for everyone who loves our sport,” the statement added.
Now, Australia will aim to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and the Club World Cup in 2029 while the Saudis prepare to receive an official announcement to take on the 2034 World Cup.
This month, FIFA gave all interested bidders only four weeks to confirm their proposal for the 2034 world tournament, setting a tight October 31 deadline for bidders.
Under normal circumstances, interested countries are given a long period to consider bids, especially since the men’s tournament was expanded to 48 teams from 32 following the last World Cup in Qatar.
However, Saudi Arabia quickly declared its intentions to host the tournament.
“The 2034 FIFA World Cup is our invitation to the world to witness Saudi Arabia’s development, experience its culture, and become part of its history,” Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) President Yasser Al Misehal said.
“We are extremely committed to presenting the most competitive bid possible that will also help unite the world through football,” the Saudi president added.
Due to FIFA rules, only Asia or Oceania could bid for the 2034 World Cup.
With Saudi Arabia set to also host the men’s Asian Cup in 2027, there has been a massive construction plan to ensure the country qualifies for FIFA’s bidding documents, which state 14 stadiums are needed for the 48-team tournament.
2022 host Qatar has also welcomed Saudi Arabia’s desire to bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the hope of the State of Qatar that the Saudi endeavours will culminate with winning the right to host this major international football event,” a Qatari foreign ministry statement read earlier this month.