National leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have voiced support for a multi-territory bid to host the Fifa World Cup in the region in 2034.
Speaking at the closing press conference of the 34th annual summit of the Asean, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said “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 soccer associations in their countries in order to realise this dream.”
Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, later said: “We felt that alone (each country by itself), we would never have the chance of hosting the event but, maybe, with all Asean countries together, we might be able to host the World Cup.”
Asean comprises 10 countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei.
The idea is not a new one. Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times reports that football administrators from Malaysia and Indonesia have been talking about a potential regional bid to host the 2034 tournament for the last couple of years. Al Jazeera reports the idea was first mooted at the start of the decade.