After Brisbane was granted the right to host the 2032 Olympics, it is time to prepare a bid for the FIFA Men's World Cup. This could be Australia's first football tournament of this size.
Better chances for 2034 World Cup
The Australian government and football association are considering applying to host the 2030 or 2034 World Cup. The latter date is much more realistic as the tournament in 2030 is likely to be held in Europe. The most serious counter bid for the organization of the World Cup in 9 years from now is the joint bid of Spain and Portugal.
Before that, the biggest football competition will come to Qatar (2022) and three North American countries (USA, Canada and Mexico in 2026). According to FIFA rules, the continents hosting two previous editions, i.e. 2026 (North America) and 2030 (most likely Europe), will be excluded from applying for the event in 2034. This puts Australians in a fairly good starting position.
© Tomme G
The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will be a test for Australia. Its exemplary organization, along with New Zealand, could give Australians a chance to follow the path of Canada that hosted the 2015 Women's World Cup and was then given the rights to co-host the men's tournament in 2026.
Thanks to the women's championship in 2023, part of the infrastructure (mainly training facilities) needed for 2030 or 2034, will be ready in just 2 years. Training centres are currently under construction in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Together with New Zealand or Indonesia?
There are no details of the Australian bid yet. However, there are media reports that New Zealand or Indonesia can be invited to jointly organize the tournament. A decade earlier, Australia had unsuccessfully applied to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. A$ 46 million (then € 29.6 million) was spent on the preparation of the bid, which resulted in receiving only one vote of support for Australia's candidacy to host the tournament in 2022.
The national government at that time was proposing the construction of three completely new stadiums (Blacktown, Perth, Canberra), minor modifications to two venues and comprehensive revamp works for five facilities. Two out of all twelve arenas required no work back then.
World Cup stadiums must have a capacity of no less than 40,000, meaning several new grounds will need expansion, such as Queensland Country Bank Stadium if part of Australia's bid.
Sydney Football Stadium (due to open next year) and Optus Stadium are two venues that did not exist when the last bid was made more than 10 years ago. The 2034 World Cup could mean Canberra finally gets its long-awaited new facility and Stadium Australia can see a redevelopment.
Author: Tomasz Sobura