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FIFA president confirms 2023 World Cup host after Australia decision

World Cup
Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

Australia’s decision to pull out of the bidding left only one candidate to host the 2034 World Cup.

Saudi Arabia will host the 2023 World Cup, according to FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

On Tuesday, Football Australia officially confirmed the country won’t bid to host the tournament. The deadline for the candidates to express interest in hosting the 2034 World Cup ended on October 31, with Saudi Arabia being the only country in the race.

Saudi Arabia, who initially hoped to host the 2030 tournament, will now start their preparations for the second World Cup in the Middle East.

“Football unites the world like no other sport, World Cup is perfect showcase for a message of unity and inclusion,” Infantino said“Different cultures can be together.”

The initial bid to host the 2030 World Cup involved Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia. But Saudis have decided to be the sole hosts four years later.

“We are extremely committed to presenting the most competitive bid possible that will also help unite the world through football,” Yasser Al Misehal, President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), said in the country’s letter of intent.

“The Saudi FA claims that ‘over 70 FIFA Member Associations from across different continents have publicly pledged their support for the Kingdom.”

The announcement will most likely see the Middle Eastern country continue their massive investment in the Saudi Pro League in the coming years.