Australia is planning to launch a bid to host soccer’s showpiece Fifa World Cup in either 2030 or 2034 as it aims to land another major event.
Football Australia, the sport’s national governing body, is formulating a bid in the hope of bringing the World Cup to the southern hemisphere for the first time.
The country previously failed in its attempt to land the World Cup for 2022 after missing out to Qatar.
The national federation was heavily criticised after receiving just one vote despite spending around A$45 million ($33.3 million) on the bid.
The country opted not to enter the running for the 2026 edition, which will be jointly hosted for the first time by USA, Mexico and Canada.
However, Football Australia chief executive James believes this is the right time to try again after the country was awarded the 2023 women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted with New Zealand, and the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane.
Johnson told The Australian newspaper: “We’ll host a great competition in 2023. We’re going to wrap a legacy around it for the game, but we’ve got to squeeze more juice out of this and it could be a stepping stone with a successful delivery of that toward more Fifa competitions.
“And there’s a trend. Look at Canada, which hosted the women’s World Cup in 2015 and 11 years later they’re going to host the men’s World Cup with the US (and Mexico). Look at Brazil – they hosted the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016.”
Johnson admitted that the 2030 World Cup is likely to be awarded to a nation in Europe or South America as the next two editions will be in Asia and North America.
But Football Australia is more optimistic about 2034 and has reportedly held talks with state-based major events officials already.
The national team has qualified for the last four World Cups and is on course to make it five in Qatar next year.
If Australia does ultimately launch a bid for 2030, it is likely to face strong competition as the UK and Ireland are proposing a joint bid, as are Spain and Portugal.
Multi-country bids are also in the pipeline from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay, and from Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania, while Italy is also weighing up a bid.
The bidding process is set to formally begin in 2022, with the hosts to be decided by Fifa in 2024.
A successful bid for either 2030 or 2034 would add to the growing list of high-profile sporting events Australia will host over the next 15 years having also secured basketball’s Fiba Women’s World Cup and cricket’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022, the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2025 and the 2027 Netball World Cup.
In addition, in May the country officially launched a bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup.