New Zealand could be in the running to co-host games at the 2034 FIFA Men’s World after a decision by the sport’s governing body to invite bids from its Asia and Oceania confederations.
After a video conference, the FIFA Council issued a statement saying the 2030 tournament would be co-hosted by Morocco, Portugal and Spain, after a joint bid uniting the African and European continents.
“It was also agreed that in line with the principle of confederation rotation and of securing the best possible hosting conditions for the tournaments, the bidding processes for both the 2030 and 2034 editions be conducted concurrently, with FIFA member associations from the territories of the AFC and the OFC invited to bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2034,” the statement says.
In a document providing an overview of the bidding process, FIFA says member associations “may prepare and submit an individual or joint bid in collaboration with one or more member associations.”
This would enable Australia and New Zealand to collaborate as they did with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Member associations, such as NZ Football, have till October 31, 2023, to submit expressions of interest.
“The bidding agreement – an agreement necessary to ensure that the key principles of the bidding process are observed – will be provided to the relevant member associations,” the guidelines say.
“This must be returned by November 30, 2023 and also serves as a confirmation to FIFA of the bidding member associations involved in the processes. FIFA will then make the full suite of bidding and hosting documents available to these bidding member associations.
“In early 2024, FIFA will initiate a programme of workshops, working meetings and other activities in order to exchange information regarding requirements, bid content and initial concepts in order to support the development of each candidate’s bid.
“It is currently anticipated that candidates will be required to submit their bids to FIFA in July 2024. FIFA will then conduct a thorough evaluation process, including on-site inspection visits, before publishing its findings in its Bid Evaluation Report(s) in the fourth quarter of 2024.
“Finally, the appointments of the host(s) of the Competitions is expected to take place in separate FIFA Congresses scheduled to commence from the fourth quarter of 2024.”
The 2034 World Cup is currently expected to involve 48 teams, with a group stage involving 12 groups of four teams.
A knockout stage would follow with a Round of 32, making a total of 104 matches.
Main photo credit: Fausan Saari / unsplash