(WFI) Australia and Indonesia, whose bids for the 2022 World Cup were beaten by Qatar, could be part of a regional bid to host the 2030 tournament.
At the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Congress meeting over the weekend – of which both federations are part – a proposal to form a committee to prepare a regional bid for the 2030 World Cup was approved.
The committee will study the implications of bidding for the World Cup and a status report will be presented at the ASEAN Congress in Jakarta next month.
“It will be a unifying factor for the ASEAN community if we could host the World Cup,” Malaysian foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman was quoted by the Bernama news agency.
Malaysia originally mooted the possibility of a joint AFF bid in July last year although it is not clear which countries would be part of a joint World Cup bid.
Argentina and Uruguay have also expressed an interest in jointly hosting what would be the World Cup’s centenary tournament.
The sprawling AFF is a regional organisation that operates under auspices of the Asian Football Confederation. Its members include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philipines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanamr, Vietnam and Timor-Leste.
Australia is an invited rather than full member of the organisation.
Disgraced Indonesian football chief Nurdin Halid, who held faint hopes of winning election to the
ASEAN presidency, received a final blow to his football career when Malaysia’s Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah of Malaysia was unanimously elected into office.
Halid, who last week had his domestic powers effectively stripped from him by FIFA, had been listed as a candidate but it is not clear if he attended the congress. The sultan’s other rival for the presidency, FIFA Ex-Co member, Worawi Makudi, withdrew on the morning of the election.
FIFA vice-president elect Prince Ali Bin Hussein was amongst the first to congratulate the sultan.
“I look forward to working closely with HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah as well as the elected Vice Presidents from East Timor, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam,” Prince Ali said.
Earlier Prince Ali had used a speech to put himself at the service of AFF members when he takes up his position in June.
“I will work with you hand in hand, listen to your ideas and concerns to meet your aspirations in each and every one of our countries and in the best possible way that addresses your challenges; on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
Ali also extended an invitation to AFF members to attend the West Asian Football Federation’s Congress “in the spirit of friendship and unity in Asia.”
By INSIDER’s James Corbett
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