Football: Indonesia to lead South-east Asian 2034 World Cup bid

Indonesia fans, decked out in their national colours, cheering and singing before the start of the match between Indonesia and Thailand during the 26th South-east Asian (SEA) Games.
Indonesia fans, decked out in their national colours, cheering and singing before the start of the match between Indonesia and Thailand during the 26th South-east Asian (SEA) Games.PHOTO: ST FILE

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia is set to lead a consortium of South-east Asian countries in an ambitious bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup, the country's football association said Wednesday (July 5).

Joko Driyono, the vice-president of the Indonesia's football association, PSSI, said the country had proposed to lead the South-east Asian consortium at an Asian Football Federation (AFF) council meeting in Vietnam earlier this month.

"It will be officially endorsed in the (AFF) council meeting in Bali in September," Driyono told AFP.

Driyono said the bid to host the most prestigious football event was "ambitious" but that the consortium, comprising countries from Asean, had 17 years to prepare. The deadline to register a bid is 2026.

Due to geographical and infrastructure considerations, only two or three of the 10 Asean member countries would be in a position to host matches in the 2034 World Cup, Driyono added.

He believed the bid would provide a boost to Indonesia and its neighbours in their efforts to improve their football performance.

The game in Indonesia has been suffering from problems for years, from the creation of a breakaway association that tore the football establishment apart to cases of foreign players being treated badly.

"It is time that South-east Asia hosts the World Cup, and the progressive growth of Asia, especially Southe-ast Asia, brings an optimism for us," Driyono said.