Asean to look into feasibility of 2034 World Cup bid

Singapore's National Stadium. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam will be making a joint bid to host the 2034 World Cup tournament.
Singapore's National Stadium. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam will be making a joint bid to host the 2034 World Cup tournament.PHOTO: ST FILE

The 10 Asean nations have agreed to establish a technical working group, led by Thailand, to look into the feasibility of a joint bid to host football's 2034 World Cup, said a joint statement yesterday issued by the bloc's sports ministers and heads of delegation after the Asean Ministerial Meeting on Sports in Manila.

The working group will also include four core members from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, with other Asean members welcome to join the group.

Malaysia will host the first meeting in Kuala Lumpur, where the Asean Football Federation and Asian Football Confederation are based, said the statement.

"We further support the submission of bid by Indonesia to host the Fifa U-20 World Cup in 2021," added the statement.

Those at the meeting chaired by Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez included Thai Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Malaysia's National Sports Council director-general Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Indonesia's secretary of the Ministry for Youth and Sports, Gatot Sulistiantoro Dewa Broto, and Tan Wei Ming, senior director (sports) of Singapore's Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

A Bangkok Post report on Wednesday said Thailand would be leading a joint five-nation bid and the proposal for a joint bid was agreed at the four-day Manila meeting.

This follows Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's announcement of the joint bid at the Asean Summit in Bangkok in June.

Mr Phiphat reportedly said on Wednesday that the participants at the meeting had agreed that Thailand would lead the joint bid and he would seek approval from the cabinet. This is the first time that Singapore has been officially named as one of the host countries for the joint bid.

Other countries that have shown interest in staging the 2034 World Cup include China, Egypt, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and joint bidders Australia and New Zealand.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2019, with the headline 'Asean to look into feasibility of 2034 World Cup bid'. Print Edition | Subscribe