Randy Fauzi Febriansyah, Jakarta – The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) chairman Erick Thohir confirmed that his side will cancel its bid to host the 2034 World Cup. Initially, Indonesia planned to invite Australia to explore the possibility. However, the plan was ruled out given the tight deadline.
"We have already said that we want to bid with Australia. But we assessed that the preparations are too tight because the bid's final deadline is October 31," he said when met at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Senayan, Central Jakarta, Thursday, October 26, 2023.
Previously, Erick revealed that PSSI had discussed with Australia to bid for the 2034 World Cup. His side was also open to the possibility of inviting Malaysia and Singapore.
Apart from Indonesia and Australia, Saudi Arabia has volunteered to host the four-year event. Erick said that the PSSI has now expressed its support for Saudi.
Nevertheless, Erick said Indonesia is still trying to target other FIFA events. Hosting the U-17 World Cup will pave the way for the country to be able to host other world-level championships.
Along with the Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo and President Joko Widodo, he will lobby FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was due to attend the opening ceremony of the U-17 World Cup on November 10.
"We are looking at several FIFA events. So, [we hope that we will not stop hosting other events] after the U-17 World Cup. Moreover, FIFA will be present on November 9 or 10. Maybe there will be negotiations by the Minister of Youth and Sports, myself, and the President. Maybe we will be able to bid for other FIFA events," Erick Thohir said.
The 2034 World Cup is scheduled to take place from mid-June to July 2034. FIFA opened registration for Asian and Oceanian countries interested in hosting the tournament on October 4 and will close it on October 31, 2023.