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Australia considers bidding for men’s World Cup after ‘happy’ experience hosting women’s event

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Australia is exploring a bid for the 2034 Men’s World Cup – buoyed by FIFA’s praise of its co-hosting of the women’s event.

A previous attempt to bring the 2022 men’s showpiece to Australia garnered just one vote from FIFA executives amid concerns about backroom deals.

The FIFA process has been overhauled since a wave of corruption investigations with all 211 member associations now voting on World Cup hosts – rather than a secret, closed committee – and inspection scoring of bids is published.

As well as the main World Cup for national teams, Australia also now sees an opportunity to bid to host the new 32-team quadrennial men’s Club World Cup.

Football Federation Australia CEO James Johnson told Sky News: “We’re so happy with how the Women’s World Cup is panning out.

“I think we’ve shown the world that we can host top tier competitions here in Australia.

“There’s an opportunity to perhaps bid for the 2029 (men’s) Club World Cup and the 2030 Men’s World Cup. And that’s something we’re looking into at the moment.

“It would require support from our government. It would require us to find co-hosts in our region. So we’re looking at our different options that are available.

“We’d like to use the success of the Women’s World Cup as a springboard to bid for other top tier competitions.”

Australia considers bidding for men's World Cup after 'happy' experience hosting women's event
Image:
Lionel Messi celebrates winning the World Cup in Qatar. Pic: AP


Australia has been co-hosting the first Women’s World Cup with an expanded 32-team field with New Zealand.

The men’s World Cup is growing from 2026 to 48 teams. Countries will have to accommodate 104 matches rather than 64. The last 32-team edition was held in Qatar last year.

“I don’t think it is an unfavourable time zone,” Mr Johnson said in an interview in Sydney. “If you look at countries like China or India or even the United States, these are some of the biggest countries in the world.

“But football is not the biggest sport in these countries. So when you play competitions in this part of the world in this time zone, that’s the audience that you’re tapping into.

“And if we want to be the biggest sport in the world, and we are the biggest sport in the world, but in the biggest markets, I think we need more competitions in these types of time zones.”

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Securing public funding in Australia is far from certain.

Victoria state last month withdrew from hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games because of a massive increase in the projected cost of staging the event.

But the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics are going to Queensland after Brisbane was awarded the summer games.

The Women’s World Cup final will be contested on 20 August in the stadium that formed the centrepiece of the Sydney 2000 Olympics – with Australia’s Matildas still in contention.

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