Australia and New Zealand 2034 World Cup bid boosted by 2030 decision

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
05/10/2023
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Australia and New Zealand 2034 World Cup more likely following 2030 announcement

Only countries from Asia and Oceania are eligible to host the 2034 World Cup. This greatly improves Australia and New Zealand’s chances of hosting.

News Insights

  • FIFA announce Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay as 2030 World Cup hosts.
  • Only Asia and Oceania nations can host 2034.
  • Australia and New Zealand have long planned to launch a joint 2034 bid.
  • Saudi Arabia are favourites to host in 2034.

FIFA have announced that Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay will be joint hosts of the 2030 FIFA World Cup. This move has been met with immediate criticism, but could be a positive for Australia and New Zealand because the pool of eligible host countries has now shrunk. 

How 2030 hosts affect Australia and New Zealand

The convoluted nature of FIFA’s World Cup hosting rights means that continental confederations must wait three cycles before they can host a World Cup again. For example, this means that the tournament can’t be held in North America until 2038 because Canada, Mexico, and the US are hosting the 2026 World Cup. 

Now that the 2030 World Cup has been awarded to nations in Africa, Europe, and South America, the only confederations eligible to host the 2034 World Cup are Asia and Oceania. Australia is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and New Zealand is a member of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), making both countries eligible to host the 2034 World Cup. 

Australia and New Zealand to launch joint bid

Australia was one of many nations to have their 2022 World Cup hosting bids rejected in 2010 when Sepp Blatter and FIFA awarded hosting rights to Qatar instead. Since 2010, it has been long rumoured that Australia and New Zealand are willing to joint host an upcoming World Cup. 

This dream obviously came true with the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but the Men’s World Cup still remains the goal. Key to achieving this goal may be finding another host nation to join them. 

It was rumoured that Indonesia may be an ideal partner for Australia and New Zealand, but with Indonesia recently having the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup stripped from them due to political issues, Indonesia seems like an unlikely partner now. 

Malaysia, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian countries could emerge as potential partners, but we think it more likely that Australia and New Zealand choose to go in alone in their 2034 World Cup bid. 

Saudi Arabia presents a challenge to AUS-NZ World Cup

Saudi Arabia announced their bid to host the 2034 World Cup just minutes after FIFA announced its 2030 World Cup hosts. Like the Qatari bid for the 2022 World Cup back in 2010, this bid has been met with immediate backlash. Some are even saying that FIFA chose its 2030 hosts specifically to clear the path for Saudi Arabia to host the 2034 World Cup. 

If that is the case, Australia and New Zealand have virtually no chance at hosting the 2034 World Cup. Even if FIFA decided to be more even-handed, the way it handled the Qatari bid also paints bad signs for the Aussies and the Kiwis. 

However, some have hope that there may be enough fan pressure to avoid their being another Middle-East World Cup. Additionally, player pressure may play a big role.

The Saudis are planning on hosting the 2034 World Cup in the traditional northern hemisphere summer months. Extreme heat and climate concerns make this a major issue. The idea of playing in a relatively cool Australia and New Zealand could be an attractive alternative to players looking to support one bid over another. 

In addition to Saudi Arabia, China and a joint Japan / South Korea bid are strong contenders to host the 2034 World Cup. Uzbekistan and  Kazakhstan have expressed interest in a joint bid, but remain as huge outsiders. 

If the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand showed us anything, the Aussies and Kiwis know how to host a tournament. Will they be able to do it again in 2034? Probably not. Have their chances of hosting the 2034 tournament gone up? Yes, definitely.