INDONESIA is in discussions with Australia about a possible joint bid to host the 2034 World Cup along with Malaysia and Singapore, the president of the country’s football federation (PSSI) said on Wednesday.
World football’s governing body FIFA invited member associations from Asia and Oceania to bid for the rights to the 2034 edition last week.
“We are discussing (a bid) with Australia,” PSSI president Erick Thohir was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. “When I visited Malaysia and Singapore, both countries expressed interest in joining Indonesia and Australia.”
Asked for comment on a possible joint bid, Football Australia referred Reuters to a statement last week that said it was “exploring the possibility of bidding for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup and/or the FIFA World Cup 2034”.
PSSI has not responded to a Reuters request for comment.
After announcing Spain, Morocco and Portugal would host the 2030 World Cup, with Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina staging the opening games, FIFA invited Asia and Oceania to bid for 2034.
Saudi Arabia quickly announced its intention to bid for the hosting rights and FIFA has set a deadline of Oct 31 for other interested parties to make their intentions known.
With Qatar having hosted the 2022 edition, Thohir said it might be too soon for the World Cup to return to the Middle East.
“We are quite strong,” he said. “I think FIFA will see that the Middle East area has been the host since Qatar last year. Japan and Korea have been hosts, too. I am sure FIFA will try other countries. The potential to win if we join with Australia, Malaysia and Singapore is bigger, too.”
The 2026 World Cup, which will feature 48 teams, will be hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico. – Oct 11, 2023
Main photo credit: Reuters