BANGKOK, June 23 — Asean’s proposed joint bid to host the Fifa World Cup in 2034 will boost the region’s chances of getting it, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
Dr Mahathir said five Asean countries had mooted the idea during the 34th Asean Summit.
“We felt that alone (each country by itself) we will never have the chance of hosting the event.
“But maybe with all Asean together, we might be able to host the World Cup.
“Of course, the matches can be played in all Asean countries, similar to when Japan and South Korea played host in 2002,” he said when asked on his view about Asean bidding to host the competition.
Earlier today, the 10-member Asean approved a proposal to make a collective bid to host the Fifa World Cup in 2034.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that the decision reached by the Southeast Asian leaders on reaching for the “dream” of hosting the biggest football tournament during the summit talks here.
Prayut said: “I wish to inform our Asean peoples that today the leaders supported the shared wish of Asean to develop a joint bid to host the Fifa World Cup in 2034.”
The Thai prime minister has also called on the public to support the football teams in the region.
The Asean foreign ministers earlier proposed the World Cup hosting gig to their leaders. The proposal was forwarded during the 34th Asean summit for the leaders’ consideration.
Japan and South Korea previously co-hosted the World Cup finals in 2002.
On June 16 last year, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, when he was the Fifa executive committee member, said that Malaysia could be part of a joint bid from four Southeast Asian countries to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup in this region for the first time ever.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had said that the football governing bodies from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have expressed their interest in a joint bid for the 2034 World Cup.