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Saudi Arabia becomes the only bidder for the 2034 FIFA World Cup following Australia’s withdrawal

FIFA has officially announced that Saudi Arabia is the sole bidder for the 2034 World Cup. Australia, which had previously been a contender, withdrew just hours before the deadline for expressing interest.

As for the 2030 World Cup, it is set to be hosted primarily by Morocco, Spain, and Portugal, pending ratification next year. FIFA stated, “The first step has been taken, and comprehensive bidding processes for both FIFA World Cup™ editions will follow, with host selections to be made by member associations at FIFA Congresses.”

FIFA had expressed its intention to host the tournament in either Asia or Oceania 11 years from now, and Australia was the main rival to Saudi Arabia’s bid. However, Australia withdrew from the process to focus on hosting the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup and the 2029 Club World Cup.

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Furthermore, FIFA confirmed that three matches in the 2030 edition will be played in South America, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the tournament. Uruguay, the original hosts and first-ever champions in 1930, as well as Argentina and Paraguay, will each host one game.

FIFA also emphasized that according to the Bidding Regulations approved by the FIFA Council, a thorough bidding and evaluation process will be conducted for the 2030 and 2034 FIFA World Cup editions, with host selections expected to be made at FIFA Congresses in Q4 2024.

“In accordance with these regulations, the FIFA administration will conduct a targeted dialogue with bidders, to ensure complete, comprehensive bids are received and evaluated against the minimum hosting requirements as also previously approved by the FIFA Council.

“This dialogue will focus on the defined priority areas of the event vision and key metrics, infrastructure, services, commercial, and sustainability and human rights.

“Following this, FIFA will publish its evaluation reports and, should those requirements be met, the member associations gathered at the FIFA Congress will appoint the hosts of the respective competitions. All relevant documents, including the bid books and the bid evaluation reports, will be published on FIFA.com.”

The tournament scheduled to take place in the Middle East is expected to disrupt the European football calendar once more, as it will emulate Qatar 2022 by being held as a winter event.

Alfred Saiki
Alfred Saiki
A passionate sports journalist and administrator. I want to see the world.