Saudi Arabia the likely winner to host FIFA World Cup in 2034
Saudi Arabia emerged as the likely winner in the abbreviated race to host soccer’s World Cup in 2034.
This after Australia’s soccer federation announced that it would not bid for the tournament hours before the FIFA deadline to submit all bids.
The decision most likely removed the only hurdle in the way of Saudi Arabia’s plan to bring the world’s most-watched sporting event back to the gulf.
Saudi Arabia made clear its intent to bid weeks ago, and FIFA’s rules have all but assured it will prevail.
In a sudden and surprising move earlier this month, FIFA announced a truncated bidding timeline for the tournament, telling interested nations that they had only 25 days to formally express their interest and provide extensive declarations of government backing for a 48-team, multi city event that usually requires billions of dollars and years of planning.
The decision to shorten that timeline to only a matter of weeks was announced on the same day FIFA formally announced that its 2030 world cup would be shared by countries in Europe, Africa and South America.