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ASEAN Countries Confirm Bid to Co-Host FIFA World Cup 2034

On June 22, a meeting between representatives of ten ASEAN countries was held to discuss the prospect of co-hosting the FIFA World Cup.

According to Thai Secretary of State Don Pramudwinai, football associations in all ASEAN nations have agreed to propose co-hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2034, Tuoi Tre reports. The countries, including the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei, will jointly bid to host the football tournament, said Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.

"Hosting the World Cup would raise Asean's global standing, and the first time a regional intergovernmental bloc would host a sporting event of such significance," Fuadi Pitsuwan, a public policy scholar at Chiang Mai University, told Reuters.

The initial idea of co-bidding was first brought up by the chairman of the Thailand Football Association, Somyot Poompunmuang, when he announced that Thailand and Indonesia will try to bid to be 2034 FIFA World Cup's hosting countries. In the history of the tournament, the only time the World Cup was hosted by more than one country was the successful 2002 FIFA World Cup hosted by Japan and South Korea.

Nonetheless, more joint World Cups will take place in the future: the tournament in 2026 will be co-hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico. For the 2030 FIFA World Cup, it's been confirmed that Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will make a bid for the first multi-country World Cup based in South America.

It's still unclear how the ASEAN bid would proceed should they be given the right to host. Would FIFA allow ten teams to have the automatic berth to enter the elimination round awarded to each host nation per tradition, or would a regional team be formed consisting of these countries' best players?

[Photo/CC BY 4.0]

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