Australia wants to host more major soccer tournaments – including the 2034 men’s World Cup – to build on the legacy of its successful staging of this year’s global women’s finals.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson told the Leaders sports business conference in London on Thursday that the nation really wanted to extend the legacy effect after the impact of the Women’s World Cup.
World soccer governing body FIFA ‘s deadline for bids for the 2034 finals is less than two weeks away and Saudi Arabia is the only other country to announce it will bid for the tournament.
FIFA has invited bids from Asia and Oceania for the 2034 showpiece, setting a deadline of October 31. Saudi Arabia earlier this month announced it would bid and received backing from the Asian Football Confederation in its congress on Wednesday.
Australia were in talks with Indonesia about the possibility of a joint bid with Malaysia and Singapore, but this week Indonesia said it would support the Saudi bid.
An Australian bid would represent a choice for FIFA members to vote on at their congress in Bangkok next May.
Australia co-hosted the Women’s World Cup with New Zealand this year and Johnson said it wanted to build on the success of that tournament.
“We’re currently in a bidding process for the women’s Asian Cup in 2026. And the logic is to really extend the legacy effect … predominantly for women’s football in Australia,” he said.
“We’re also exploring two other major tournaments. We’re exploring the 2029 Club World Cup to see if that could be an option in our region … and we’re exploring the opportunity of the 2034 men’s World Cup as well.
“But bidding for the women’s Asian Cup 2026 and exploring the potential opportunities – the 2029 Club World Cup and the 2034 men’s World Cup.”
Australia previously bid to host the 2022 World Cup, which went to Qatar, being eliminated in the first round of voting in 2010.
The 2026 World Cup, which will feature 48 teams for the first time, will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The 2030 tournament will be staged in Spain, Portugal and Morocco with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay hosting the first three matches to mark the tournament’s centenary.