The first bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup has been proposed as a collective bid by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The idea of a combined ASEAN bid had been mooted as early as January 2011, when the former Football Association of Singapore President, Zainudin Nordin, said in a statement that the proposal had been made at an ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting. In 2013, Nordin and Special Olympics Malaysia President, Datuk Mohamed Feisol Hassan, recalled the idea for ASEAN to jointly host a World Cup. Under FIFA rules as of 2017, the 2030 World Cup cannot be held in Asia (AFC) as Asian Football Confederation members are excluded from the bidding following the selection of Qatar in 2022. Therefore, the earliest bid by an AFC member could be made for 2034.
Later, Malaysia withdrew from involvement but Singapore and other ASEAN countries continued the campaign to submit a joint bid for the World Cup in 2034. In February 2017, ASEAN held talks on launching a joint bid during a visit by FIFA chief Gianni Infantino to Yangon, Myanmar.
In July 2017, Joko Driyono, the Vice-President of the Football Association of Indonesia, during a meeting in Vietnam said that Indonesia and Thailand were set to lead a consortium of Southeast Asian nations in the bid. Driyono added that due to geographic and infrastructure considerations and the expanded format (48 teams), at least two or three ASEAN countries combined would be in a position necessary to host matches.
In September 2017, the Football Association of Thailand's Deputy CEO, Benjamin Tan, at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Council meeting, confirmed that his Association has "put in their interest to bid and co-host" the 2034 World Cup with Indonesia. On the same occasion, the General Secretary of the AFF, Dato Sri Azzuddin Ahmad, confirmed that Indonesia and Thailand will submit a joint bid.
Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian country to have participated in the World Cup. The 1938 World Cup is Indonesia's only appearance to date when the country was known as the Dutch East Indies. Far from ever having to host the World Cup, no other Southeast Asian country ever qualified to the tournament. As of March 2018, Indonesia is ranked by FIFA at 162nd place and not a single national team from Southeast Asia ranks in the FIFA top 100.
China has announced its interest in bidding several times and reports stated "that China is likely to host the World Cup for the first time in 2034."
The bid registration deadline is in 2026.
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