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AFF backs Indonesia-Thailand bid for 2034 World Cup

The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), the umbrella body of the football associations of the Association of Southeast Nations, has declared its support for a proposed joint bid from Indonesia and Thailand to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup.

In July, Joko Driyono, deputy president of the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI), said the country was keen to lead a Southeast Asian bid for the showpiece national team tournament and was seeking to speak with national governing bodies in the region about a possible joint bid.

Driyono’s comments came after Zaw Zaw, chairman of the Myanmar Football Federation, in February said the ASEAN had held preliminary talks with Fifa, football’s global governing body, about a bid.

Driyono, who was appointed vice-president of the AFF on Saturday, has now won the support of the regional federation, which confirmed at its Congress it would back a joint bid from the PSSI and the Football Association of Thailand (FAT).

Dato’ Sri Azzuddin Ahmad, general secretary of the AFF, said: “Both the PSSI and the FAT have the support of their respective governments and as such, we at the AFF are supportive of this joint bid.”

According to the Netralnews.com website, Azzuddin also said: “This is a joint bid between Indonesia and Thailand. This is a form of familial spirit within ASEAN where we support each other.” He also pointed out that the travelling time between the two countries is up to three hours, therefore making a joint bid possible.

The AFF added that it will announce the “exact mechanism of the bid process” at a later date. The event has only been held in Asia on one previous occasion, when Japan and South Korea co-hosted in 2002. China has been strongly linked to a bid for the 2030 tournament.