PETALING JAYA, July 1 — It is not feasible for all 10 Asean countries to be joint-hosts of the 2034 World Cup, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said today.
Hamidin said the idea would surely be opposed at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) level, especially from footballing giants South Korea and Japan, as it could potentially deny them a right to compete in the tournament.
He said a bid from three, or at most four countries would be ideal, if Asean were serious about organising the world’s largest football event.
“Keep in mind, that when joint-hosting a World Cup – for example, (if we look at) the United States, Canada and Mexcio for the 2026 edition – they will automatically compete. In Asean it is a little different, and it is not possible for 10 countries to bid together.
“This is because if a bid is made, all countries would want to contest, and our (countries under the AFC) slots for the world cup following the 2026 World Cup will be eight plus one (reserved for the host). Even if there are five or six nations) in the bid, Japan and South Korea wouldn’t allow it and wouldn’t agree,” he said when met during FAM’s Aidilfitri do at Wisma FAM here, today.
At the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok on June 23, Asean chairman Jen Prayuth Chan o-cha, who is also the Prime Minister of Thailand said all 10 Asean member nations had agreed to a joint bid for the 2034 World Cup in the region.
Meanwhile, Hamidin quashed claims that Malaysia were looking for a ‘free ticket’ to the world cup through the joint bid.
He stressed that a bid for the most prestigious sporting event in the world wasn’t easy, and there were strict terms and conditions set by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) on hosting nations.
“The idea (of doing a joint-bid) is a good one, but it’s not to find an easy way to qualify for the World Cup, although there may be netizens who think that the FAM cannot go to the World Cup on merit, so they are trying to get through by being the hosts,” he quipped. — Bernama