KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Asian Football Confederation has wasted no time formally supporting Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the World Cup in 2034.

The FIFA media release concerning future hostings had barely taken flight before the Saudi football federation had declared its ambition and AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa had endorsed it.

This partisan expression of support is sure to anger Australia, which is also an AFC member and can bid, along with other Asian nations and those from Ocenia.

Shaikh Salman said: “The AFC endorses the FIFA World Cup hosting decisions taken by the FIFA Council as we strongly believe it paves the way for a more equitable opportunity for all confederations to bid for, and host, the prestigious FIFA World Cup.

“”We applaud this move as it will see the greatest sporting spectacle on earth being organised in all Confederations as more potential host Member Associations join hands, uniting fans in the spirit of the beautiful game.

“I am delighted to note that the SAFF have presented their intention to bid for the FIFA World Cup in 2034.

“The entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative, and we are committed to working closely with the global football family to ensure its success.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be hosting the AFC Asian Cup™ in 2027 and this will be a historic first for them. We have full confidence that the SAFF will deliver an extraordinary AFC Asian Cup™, and carry this same belief into delivering an unforgettable FIFA World Cup, offering an excellent opportunity to football fans from across the world to experience a unique and spectacular celebration of the beautiful game.”
Asia staged the 2002 finals in Japan and South Korea and then last year’s 2022 finals in Qatar.