Following the announcement that Saudi Arabia was the sole bidder for the 2034 World Cup. It appears that the competition will take place in Asia once more. Just hours before FIFA’s deadline for declarations of interest. Australia had earlier indicated their interest in hosting the competition in Australia. However, they ultimately decided to back out of the process. Football Australia released a statement saying, “We have investigated the possibility to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and, after taking all factors into consideration, we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition.”
The Australian Football Federation, on the other hand, has decided to move forward with their bids for the FIFA Club World Cup in 2029 and the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026.
Saudi Arabia is the sole bidder who has been confirmed after Australia withdrew. Following FIFA’s unexpected request for expressions of interest from solely Asia and Oceania for the 2034 event. The Gulf nation announced its bid on October 4. FIFA said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia had submitted the sole proposal for the 2034 competition. FIFA stated that the hosts for the 2030 and 2034 events will still “conduct thorough bidding and evaluation processes,” with confirmation of the hosts expected by October. In addition, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina will each host an opening match to commemorate one hundred years. Since the first World Cup was held. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco are scheduled to co-host the 2030 competition.
In order to ensure that “complete, comprehensive bids” are submitted, FIFA said it will stay in touch with the bidders. These bids will then be compared to the “minimum hosting requirements as previously approved by the FIFA Council.” According to FIFA, services, infrastructure, sustainability and commerce, and human rights are the “priority areas” for the bids. Saudi Arabia has hosted several important sporting events in recent years, most notably in boxing and Formula One. Its involvement in the Saudi Pro League and the LIV Golf Tour, which has resulted in the signing of numerous elite football players to Saudi Arabian teams, has also caused some disruption in the global sports landscape.
Now is the time for FIFA to be explicit about how it expects hosts to abide by its human rights rules. Additionally, it must be ready to end the bidding process if significant concerns to human rights are not adequately addressed.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) declared in September that he didn’t give a damn if the nation’s investments in sports were labelled as “sportswashing.” MBS stated, “Well, if sportswashing increases my GDP by one percent, then I will continue doing sportswashing,” in a September 23 Fox News interview.
When asked if the use of the word affected him, MBS said, “I don’t care.” My GDP has grown by 1% because to sport, and I want to increase it by another 1.5 percent. Whatever you want to name it, we will receive that 1.5 percent.