Saudi Arabia has emerged as the strong contender to host the 2034 World Cup after Australia officially confirmed its decision not to submit a bid for the prestigious soccer tournament on the deadline day.
FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, had invited bids from countries in Asia and Oceania for the 2034 World Cup by October 31.
While Football Australia (FA) had initially expressed interest in exploring the possibility of hosting the 2034 event, the domestic governing body eventually opted to focus on bids for the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup and the 2029 Club World Cup instead.
With Australia no longer in the running for the 2034 World Cup, Saudi Arabia remains as the sole confirmed bidder. Saudi Arabia had swiftly announced its intention to bid just minutes after FIFA’s call for bids from Asia and Oceania on October 4.
The president of the Asian Football Confederation, the governing body that oversees Asian football, including Australia, expressed full support for Saudi Arabia’s bid, signaling unity across the Asian football community.