Saudi Arabia is ready to host the 2034 Men’s FIFA World Cup. This development right after Australia unexpectedly pulled out from the bid race just hours before the deadline. This move positions Saudi Arabia to make a substantial mark on the global sports stage.
Australia’s Change of Heart
Australia, long seen as a potential host for the 2034 FIFA World Cup, made a sudden and unexpected announcement. The Football Australia federation stated that after careful consideration, they had decided not to bid for the 2034 competition. Instead, Australia has opted to focus on bidding for the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026 and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2029.
Saudi Arabia Emerges as the Sole Bidder
Australia’s withdrawal leaves Saudi Arabia as the only confirmed bidder for the 2034 FIFA World Cup. The Gulf nation wasted no time in announcing its bid on October 4, immediately following FIFA’s surprise invitation for expressions of interest from only Asia and Oceania for the 2034 tournament.
FIFA’s Bidding and Evaluation Process
FIFA confirmed Saudi Arabia’s status as the sole bidder for the 2034 tournament. However, they emphasized that they would still conduct a thorough bidding and evaluation process for both the 2030 and 2034 tournaments, with the hosts set to be confirmed by October.
2026 and 2030 World Cups: A Unique Set of Hosts
Spain, Portugal, and Morocco are already slated to co-host the 2030 tournament, while Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup by staging opening matches. FIFA has emphasized its commitment to ensuring that “complete, comprehensive bids” are received and evaluated against the minimum hosting requirements.
Saudi Arabia’s Recent Sports Endeavors
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been actively investing in and hosting major sports events. Notably, the country has made its mark in Formula One and boxing. Furthermore, their investment in the LIV Golf Tour and the Saudi Pro League has attracted leading soccer stars to move to Saudi Arabian clubs, significantly altering the landscape of the sports world.