|The FIFA World Cup trophy
“The leaders have support of the region to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034, if possible. I would like to invite the people of ASEAN to support the football federations in their countries in order to make the dream come true,” the Thai leader stated.
The ASEAN nations include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The region is home to more than 640 million people, many of whom are football enthusiasts, even though none of their national teams have ever qualified for the World Cup finals thus far.
The idea of ASEAN hosting a World Cup edition was initiated a few years ago with the expectation that the move could help raise member countries’ international position.
However, during its future bid to host the 2034 World Cup, ASEAN will have to compete against China, which is seen as a potential destination in Asia for the World Cup finals.
Japan and the Republic of Korea were the joint hosts of the biggest football tournament on the planet in 2002. After 20 years, the World Cup will return to the continent as Asian Cup 2019 champions Qatar are set to host the tournament in 2022.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be jointly staged by the United States, Mexico and Canada.