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Saudi Arabia firm favourites to host 2034 World Cup as Australia opt not to bid 

Saudi Arabia are firm favourites to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup after Australia decided not to bid for the prestigious tournament. 

Football Australia released a statement on Tuesday confirming they will not submit a bid for the 2034 competition. 

However, will seek to win the hosting rights for the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup and Men’s 2029 Club World Cup

Their statement on read: “We have explored the opportunity to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and, having taken all factors into consideration, we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition. 

“Instead, we believe we are in a strong position to host the oldest women’s international competition in the world, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2026, and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.

Achieving this – following the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 and with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games – would represent a truly golden decade for Australian football.”

Australia jointly hosted the 2023 Women’s World Cup with New Zealand this summer and were also expected to launch a bid for the 2034 edition of the Men’s World Cup. 

However, Saudi Arabia were the favourites to obtain the hosting rights soon after FIFA announced the process for the tournament earlier this month. 

The president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa publicly expressed his support for the Saudi bid. 

There was still a chance for Football Australia when they were reportedly in talks with Indonesia’s federation to submit a joint bid that could also include Malaysia and Singapore. 

However, their hopes all but ended when Indonesia also decided to support the Saudi bid. 

Australia had launched a $46 million bid for the 2022 World Cup but received just one vote of support. 

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