MALAYSIA and several of its Southeast Asian neighbours could play host to the 2034 World Cup, the country’s member of the FIFA Council has suggested.
Former president of the Football Federation of Malaysia Tengku Abdullah said over the weekend that fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore had already expressed interest in submitting a joint bid for the 2034 World Cup, reported ESPN.
“Asean has an opportunity and the strength to put up a joint bid as three or four countries are allowed to be co-hosts,” he was quoted as saying.
“It is similar to the United States, Canada and Mexico being joint hosts in 2026.”
The Asian Cup in 2017, co-hosted by Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand had provided a precedent for such a joint bid, Tengku said, making the comments as he returned from the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, Russia, where the 2018 World Cup is being held.
“I guess there will be no problem if four countries show their interest to bid for the tournament in 2034. It may be much better,” added Tengku.
“It is time for the Asean region to be given an opportunity, and it will allow the countries to improve their infrastructures and strengthen their respective national teams … there is enough time.”
An Indonesian official told ESPN last year that the archipelagic nation was open to a co-hosting arrangement. “This is a football loving part of the world, it is developing quickly and would stage an amazing World Cup that nobody would forget,” they said.