Earlier this month, the Kingdom of Arabia lost its 2030 bid to a host of six countries.
Saudi Arabia has officially submitted a bid to FIFA to host the 2034 World Cup after football’s governing body adopted an unprecedented fast-track process.
Despite being 11 years away, 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.
Usually, 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.
In a statement, Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) President Yasser Al Misehal confirmed the country’s wish to host the games.
“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,” 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 – opening the path to Saudi Arabia and Australia, which has also voiced interest.
“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,” Australian Football Federation CEO James Johnson said in a statement.
Australia has never hosted a Men’s World Cup and has never gone far in the bidding process, as it was eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2022 event.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has backed the Saudi bid for 2024, expressing, “the entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative.”
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.