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Saudi Arabia set to host 2034 World Cup after Australia withdraws

The kingdom is heavily investing in soccer, golf, MMA and other sports across the world.
Fans of Saudi Arabia pose with national flags on the stands ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Mexico at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on Nov. 30, 2022.

Saudi Arabia is likely to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup after Australia withdrew its bid on Tuesday, marking another victory for the kingdom in its quest to become a global sports powerhouse.

Football Australia said in a statement that it “reached the conclusion not to” bid for the quadrennial men’s soccer tournament.

FIFA announced on Oct. 4 that it was inviting bids from countries in Asia and Oceania to host the 2034 tournament. Saudi Arabia announced its bid minutes after the announcement. The deadline to bid is this Tuesday and with Australia pulling out, Saudi Arabia is the sole confirmed bidder remaining, according to multiple reports.

FIFA did not immediately comment.

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