Saudi Arabia is sole bidder for 2034 World Cup

31 October 2023
The only other country expected to bid for the tournament has withdrawn from the race

Saudi Arabia is almost certainly going to host football’s 2034 Fifa World Cup after the only other bidder for the tournament has withdrawn from the race.

On 31 October, which is the deadline for submitting bids, Football Australia, the body that governs the sport in Australia, issued a statement saying that the country will not bid for the 2034 tournament. 

“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,” it said.

READ MORE: The frontrunners for the Saudi World Cup 2034 stadiums

Saudi Arabia formally announced in early October that it plans to bid to host the 2034 tournament. The 2034 World Cup bid will be led by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. No details of the bid, such as the location of stadiums, have yet to be announced.

READ MORE: World Cup 2034 shows Saudi goals can be achieved

Fifa had invited member associations from the Asian Football Confederation and Oceania Football Confederation to bid for the 2034 event.

READ MORE: Saudi football vision goes global

The process to select a host for the 2034 tournament comes after Fifa announced that the joint bid by Morocco, Portugal and Spain is the sole candidate for the hosting of the 2030 World Cup.

READ MORE: Morocco plans six stadium projects for 2030 World Cup

To celebrate 100 years since the first World Cup in 1930, which was hosted in Uruguay, three matches of the 2030 World Cup will be hosted in South America.

Saudi Arabia will host another Fifa event this year. In December, it will host the 20th Fifa Club World Cup.

Saudi Arabia has qualified for the World Cup six times since 1994, with its most recent appearance at the 2022 event in Qatar.

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*=Year-to-date | Sources: IMF, MEED Projects, MEED

MEED's October 2023 special report on Saudi Arabia includes: 

> COMMENT: Riyadh reshapes its global role
> POLITICS: Saudi Arabia looks both east and west
> SPORTSaudi Arabia’s football vision goes global
> ECONOMY: Riyadh prioritises stability over headline growth
BANKSSaudi banks track more modest growth path
> UPSTREAMAramco focuses on upstream capacity building

> DOWNSTREAMSaudi chemical and downstream projects in motion
> POWERRiyadh rides power projects surge
> WATERSaudi water projects momentum holds steady
> GIGAPROJECTSGigaproject activity enters full swing
> TRANSPORTInfrastructure projects support Riyadh’s logistics ambitions
> JEDDAH TOWERJeddah developer restarts world’s tallest tower



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