- Australia set to build two major new stadiums under guidelines
- The alternative is to team up with a neighboring country like Indonesia
- Saudi offer risks killing Australian hopes anyway
Australia’s hopes of hosting the 2034 FIFA World Cup appear to have died due to FIFA’s onerous demands, meaning even a joint bid with New Zealand would be likely to fail.
The Socceroos’ hopes of hosting the World Cup final were already dim, with the Asian Football Confederation throwing its support behind Saudi Arabia for 2034.
Now it would take a miracle, with FIFA documents showing the requirements for hosting the World Cup would go beyond Australia – even if it joined forces with New Zealand to bid.
Australia and New Zealand have successfully teamed up to host this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the requirements to host the men’s tournament are out of reach for both nations.
FIFA recently announced that the 2030 World Cup will be hosted by six nations: Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Australia stunned the world in Qatar with their best-ever group stage performance, followed by a gutsy defeat to eventual champions Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup was successfully hosted by Australia and New Zealand, giving these nations hope of being able to host the men’s tournament as well.
Australian football fans may have to wait a long time to see a men’s World Cup on our shores due to FIFA’s demands to expand the tournament.
The 2026 tournament, which will be co-hosted by Mexico, the United States and Canada, will make history by hosting 48 teams who will play a cumulative total of 104 matches.
It is a model that will likely prevent Australia and New Zealand from hosting the tournament unless two new stadiums are built. The requirements outlined by FIFA include:
- More than 14 stadiums but not more than 20 stadiums with a minimum capacity of 40,000 spectators
- stadiums that can accommodate 60,000 spectators for the semi-finals and 80,000 for the final
- At least 72 training locations suitable for base camps
- No fewer than 72 base camp accommodations located within a 20-minute drive of the training locations
- Each accommodation establishment must be at least a four-star hotel, offering a minimum of 80 rooms.
- A requirement of at least four team hotels and four training venues per competition venue
- Two hotels for the referees’ base camps and their training facilities
- A five-star luxury hotel in each host city reserved for FIFA VIPs
Australia has nine stadiums with a capacity of more than 40,000, five of which are oval-shaped: these include the MCG and Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Perth Stadium, Adelaide Oval and the SCG.
On the other hand, New Zealand has only one stadium, Eden Park in Auckland, capable of accommodating more than 40,000 spectators.
These demands mean Australia and New Zealand would likely have to partner with another neighboring country at the Asian conference, likely Indonesia.
Eden Park is the only stadium in New Zealand that meets FIFA requirements for hosting Men’s World Cup matches.
Asian Football Confederation President and FIFA Council Senior Vice-President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (left) backs Saudi Arabia for 2034
But Football Australia is not giving up hope, a spokesperson said. ABC: “We are trying to understand the level of detail required in a short period of time.”
However, if stadium requirements don’t bury Australia’s hopes, a competing bid from Saudi Arabia almost certainly will.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who is both president of the Asian Football Confederation and senior vice-president of the FIFA Council, expressed his delight following the Saudi Football Federation’s announcement of its intention to bid .
“The entire Asian football family will be united in supporting this momentous initiative by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we are committed to working closely with the global football family to ensure its success,” he said. declared.
Although Saudi Arabia currently has only two suitable stadiums, it has billions to spend in its Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the opportunity to partner with neighboring countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.