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Saudi Arabia set to host 2034 World Cup after Australian bid withdrawn

Saudi Arabia are now the sole bidder for the rights to host the 2034 World Cup after Australia confirmed it would not be going ahead with a bid.

Fifa recently declared that they would only be accepting bids from Asian or Oceanic nations, after announcing the 2030 World Cup would be held across Spain, Portugal and Morocco as well as several games taking place in South America.

However Football Australia released a statement that they would not be bidding for the 2034 World Cup ahead of the deadline for governing bodies to officially declare their interest.

That clears the way for Saudi Arabia to host the event as the sole bidder, looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Gulf State Qatar, who hosted the 2022 competition.

Like Qatar however, Saudi Arabia are seen by many as a controversial choice given their human rights record and treatment towards women and members of the LGBT community.

Saudi Arabia have made a big impact across sport in recent years as they look to establish themselves as a premier sporting destination, as recently as last week Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury boxed in Riyadh, one of several big name bouts to take place in the country along with F1 and golf events.

The spate of sporting events and the huge amounts of money involved in bringing those events to the country has led to critics accusing them of 'sportswashing', putting on events to try and improve their international reputation.
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