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The Battle for the 2034 World Cup: Saudi Arabia Faces Unexpected Competition

The 2030 World Cup will take place on three continents. Saudi Arabia is considered the favorite for 2034. But suddenly it is no longer a foregone conclusion.

It will probably surprise few people that Saudi Arabia is the favorite to host the 2034 World Cup. To mark the 100th anniversary, the major event took place four years earlier on three continents. South America, Africa and Europe were awarded the contract. More specifically, the tournament takes place in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. At the same time, the first three games to mark the anniversary will be played in Uruguay, where the first World Cup took place in 1930, Argentina and Paraguay. “In a torn world, football unites us,” said the powerful FIFA President Gianni Infantino, explaining the extremely surprising World Cup award.

Side effect: Only associations from Asia and Oceania are now allowed to apply for the 2034 event. Many interpret this as a conscious calculation by the world association. Because the football-loving continents of Europe and South America are out of the way, Africa will once again be involved after 2010 (South Africa). Now the way is clear for the Saudis.

Completely crazy: 2030 World Cup on three continents

It is obvious that the desert state now wants to host the World Cup after the transfer offensive in the summer, where stars like Karim Benzema and Neymar were lured to the Saudi Pro League with incredible sums of money. The signs are good that after Qatar 2022, twelve years later, the cup will also be in a rich Gulf state.

Saudi World Cup not yet fixed?

But what was initially considered a done deal may not be a done deal for a long time. Infantino’s Saudi plan is in danger of failing. Because Indonesia and Australia are getting involved. “We are discussing with Australia. When I visited Malaysia and Singapore, both countries expressed interest in joining,” said Indonesian association president Erick Thohir. Another possibility would be for New Zealand to join Indonesia and Australia. “We are still open to these options as the application process still takes a few weeks,” Thohir said.

Australia and New Zealand recently hosted the Women’s World Cup – a huge success. Furthermore, a World Cup has never taken place “down under”. If FIFA sticks to its concept of a global connection, an Asia-Ocean combination would be the first choice anyway. Australia is officially part of the Asian Football Confederation, New Zealand represents Oceania.

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The talks have accelerated recently. The application deadline ends on October 31st. Until then, the associations can submit their application to FIFA. It is hardly surprising that this deadline after the World Cup has been awarded is not particularly generous and that interested host countries have little time to prepare an application.

Saudi Arabia is supported by Asian Football Association

An official declaration of intent from the Saudis is said to have been received by the world association at the beginning of the week. The Asian Football Association is behind the desert state in its bid. When Australia heard about the Gulf state’s efforts, the association said it wanted to seriously consider hosting the 2034 World Cup. Saudi Arabia has been heavily criticized in the past for, among other things, human rights violations. Hosting the biggest football event in the world would be another step towards sportswashing.

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Nav-Account red Time11.10.2023, 19:45| Akt: 11.10.2023, 19:45
2023-10-11 17:45:08
#Sudden #competition #Infantinos #Saudi #plan #collapse #Football

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