https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/fo ... 5644923244Football Australia sets sights on hosting 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and 2034 FIFA World Cup
The Women’s World Cup is just the beginning for Football Australia, with its CEO revealing plans to host three other major tournaments.
Erin Smith EXCLUSIVE
@_Erin_Smith 2 min read August 5, 2023 - 5:30AM
The FIFA Women’s World Cup still has two weeks to go but Football Australia is already looking ahead with CEO James Johnson revealing he hopes to hold the AFC Women’s Asian Cup on home soil in 2026 and the Men’s World Cup in 2034.
Johnson, speaking exclusively to CODE Sports, said Football Australia had already lodged a bid and expression of interest for the Asian Cup – with the next step dependent on $45 million of joint funding from the federal and state governments.
“We need funding to be locked in so that we can prepare ourselves for that bid,” Johnson said.
“If we do get the support from the federal and state governments I am confident that we’ll win that bid and that means that we’ll have the Women’s Asian Cup here in January 2026.”
With the Brisbane 2032 Olympics chewing up huge amounts of Queensland’s budget and the Victorian Government withdrawing from hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to the predicted cost blow out- the majority share of the funds may have to come from the Federal Government’s wallet.
While a timeline hasn’t been confirmed Johnson expected a decision on the hosts to be made by the end of the year.
It isn’t the only major tournament Football Australia have their eyes on with plans also in the making to submit bids for the 2029 Club World Cup (a new competition launching in 2025) and the 2034 Men’s World Cup.
More funding will obviously also be needed for those two major events but so will more infrastructure – particularly rectangular stadiums.
The FIFA bid evaluation report estimated the cost of running the current FIFA Women’s World Cup was $150 million – with $100 million coming from governments.
It reportedly cost Brazil $19.7 billion to host the Men’s World Cup in 2014, and South Africa $7.2 billion in 2010. Germany had a tighter budget, most likely due to more existing infrastructure – delivering the tournament at $5.2 billion.
But with the tournament expanding Johnson said the cost wouldn’t need to be covered by just one country.
“There’s 48 teams now (in the Men’s World Cup),” Johnson said.
“Which means it is very difficult for one country to host on its own … so we’d need to co-host obviously.
“We have a very long standing relationship with New Zealand, we’ve co-hosted this Women’s World Cup, so it could be Australia, New Zealand and another country in Asia – they are all part of the strategy.
“The main thing from a tournament perspective is if you want big matches and I’m talking finals and semi finals, you need rectangular stadiums.”
Winning any of these bids would continue to grow the sport in Australia but Johnson said the flow-on effects were numerous.
“It’s good for the economy, it’s good from a jobs point of view, it’s good for tourism, it’s good for the brand of our country and showcasing what a great country we are,” Johnson said.
“We’ve had the three years leading into the Women’s World Cup – which is a very big deal for Australia but also the rest of the world. If we’re able to host the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup that just extends that period.
“It means we will see the Matildas’ on local shores more often … It would extend this period that we’ve got top tier women’s football content.”
Germany paid $5.2 billion, in 2010.
Brazil paid $19.7 billion in 2014.
These are two of the biggest 'soccer' nations on the planet. What's it going to cost Australia & NZ for 2034?
We're going to have to come up with some more stadiums. I think the minimum is 40,000 for the regular round, 60,000 for finals and 80,000+ for the final.
And I don't think FIFA will accept oval shaped playing surfaces like the MCG, OPTUS Stadium and Adelaide Oval. If you look at the US/CANADA/MEXICO venues, not one oval in sight. The smallest capacity venue will be in Canada, a stadium currently at 30,000 being expanded to 45,000.
There's also minimum media capabilities within the stadium that FIFA requires, among other things.
Allianz Stadium - 42,500, rectangular
Accor Stadium/Stadium Australia - 81,500, mostly rectangular
CommBank Stadium - 30,000, rectangular
AAMI Park - 30,050 , rectangular
Suncorp Stadium - 52,500 , rectangular
SA & WA will miss out unless rectangular stadiums to FIFA standards are built.
NZ will have to do significant upgrades and/or build new stadiums.
48 teams, 80 games.
14 stadiums are needed, if not more. USA/CAN/MEX are using 16. 60 of the games are going to be in the USA, Canada & Mexico will host 10 each.
I believe only one city can have two host venues.
FIFA also requires minimum airport hourly handling capacities, public transport services etc.
South Africa spent $2.6 billion USD to upgrade their public transport for the world cup in 2010.
There's even minimum accommodation requirements. Brazil had to bring in cruise ships and expand a port because they didn't have enough hotels.
They also require training bases for each of the teams, and training facilities at the venues too.
Sydney and Melbourne will be able to cope, so to Brisbane I'd imagine with the infrastructure built for the Olympics.
Unless we see big investment in Adelaide, and lets face it we need better infrastructure particularly public transport, we wont make the cut. One thing in particular FIFA looks at apparently is how will fans/tourists get from the airport to the venues? In our case, what are they going to see, a leisurely drive down Sir Donald Bradman Drive?
Perth who knows, they seem to be building and building over there unlike Adelaide. They'll probably make the cut as they'd probably invest in a new rectangular stadium and better public transport services.
The way South Australia is, we'd probably just end up being used as a training base and miss out on the important stuff.