World Cup 2034: Host of the tournament announced

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

World Cup 2034: Host of the tournament announced There was no doubt that football's 2034 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Asia and/or Oceania. FIFA encouraged all federations from this part of the world to submit their candidatures. The deadline for applying was the end of October and only one application was eventually received. The candidature has now been approved.


Who will host the 2034 World Cup?

At the beginning of October, FIFA approved the hosts of the 2030 World Cup. The tournament will take place in six countries on three continents. Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay will each host one match in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first World Cup. The remaining matches will take place in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

During the same period, FIFA launched the bidding process to host the 2034 World Cup in early October and member associations from Asia and Oceania were invited to submit their proposals, in line with the continental rotation principle. Saudi Arabia immediately announced its intention to bid.© King Abdullah Sports City Jeddah

Following FIFA's announcement, Football Australia chief executice, James Johnson, said his federation was exploring the possibility of submitting a bid. However, FIFA's deadline of October 31 did not leave the federation much time to prepare a proposal and the governing body concluded that it was deciding not to bid. Southeast Asian countries were also interested, as well as New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, China and Kazakhstan with Uzbekistan. In the end, only the Saudi bid was submitted to FIFA.

Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 World Cup

The Saudis had the support of most of Asia, Africa and Central America. Most outraged by their choice are the Australians. They believed that the choice was a foregone conclusion from the start due to Infantino's close relationship with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Saudi heir to the throne. Besides, FIFA is satisfied with the way the World Cup was organised in Qatar, which was played in November and December for the first time ever. This tournament brought the Saudis significantly closer to their goal.

A few weeks ago, the British media described that FIFA had planned from the start to award Arabia the right to host the World Cup. By combining candidatures from Europe, Africa and South America for 2030, it limited their competition. Over the next year, the Saudis will refine their bid, working with the world federation. The final bid is expected to be approved at the FIFA congress in late 2024. Saudi Arabia is expected to lift the ban on alcohol sales for the duration of the tournament in its country.

King Fahd International Stadium© Mohd Azli Abdul Malek

FIFA has relaxed the World Cup award rules for existing stadiums, which is likely to significantly help Saudi Arabia in its bid to host the 2034 tournament. FIFA reduced the required number of existing stadiums from seven to four. The country already has four major stadiums under construction or being upgraded ahead of the 2027 Asian Cup, which it is hosting. Remember that the men's World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams in 2026, when the US, Canada and Mexico will co-host.