- Australia withdrew from its bid for the 2034 World Cup on Tuesday
- The decision paves the way for Saudi Arabia to host the tournament
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast It’s starting!
Saudi Arabia is poised to host the 2034 World Cup after Australia announced it would not bid to host the tournament.
Earlier this month, the kingdom submitted a letter of intent to FIFA after the football body announced that only applicants from Asia and Oceania would be considered for 2034.
And Saudi Arabia is unlikely to face any competition after Football Australia announced on Tuesday it had decided against bidding to host the tournament.
“We have examined the possibility of bidding to host the FIFA World Cup and have – taking all factors into account – concluded not to do so for the 2034 competition,” Football Australia said in a statement.
“Instead, we believe we are in a strong position to host the world’s oldest international women’s competition, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026, and then welcome the best teams in world football for the FIFA Club World Cup 2029.”
Saudi Arabia is the clear frontrunner to host the 2034 World Cup after Australia announced it would not bid to host the tournament
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a key figure in the kingdom’s bid
Your browser does not support iframes.
Countries wishing to host the 2034 World Cup must express their formal interest by October 31 and submit a signed bid agreement by November 30.
FIFA members will then have the opportunity at the end of 2024 to agree to the hosts for 2030 and 2034.
Saudi Arabia – whose investment in football and the development of its own Pro League has been astronomical over the past 12 months – was initially tipped to be a bidder for the 2030 World Cup.
That bid called for Greece, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to co-host the tournament, but the plans were scrapped and Saudi Arabia is aiming to be the sole host in 2034.
As Mail Sport reported earlier this month, the state’s bid was far from a “done deal” as the nation worked flat out to secure football’s premier competition.
“We have announced our ambitions to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup and this official application continues our journey to make the dreams of our people a reality,” said Yasser Al Misehal, President of the Saudi Arabia Football Association (SAFF), in a declaration The Kingdom has officially submitted its declaration of intent.
Gianni Infantino said only bidders from Asia and Oceania would be considered for 2034
“It is very important to us to present the most competitive application possible, which also contributes to uniting the world through football.”
The Saudi Football Association claims that “over 70 FIFA member associations from different continents have publicly pledged their support for the kingdom.”
Saudi Arabia’s bid received the backing of Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman, president of the Asian Football Confederation, over the weekend, who said that “the entire Asian football family will unite in supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative.”
The 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, while hosting duties for the 2030 tournament will be split between six different countries.
Spain, Morocco and Portugal will be the main hosts of the tournament, but in honor of the special anniversary, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina will all host opening games.