Singapore fans and members of the public who will bear the costs of putting together a bid to host the World Cup in 2034 should roundly reject the idea which has been suggested by Indonesia Football Federation chief Erick Thohir.
TMSG can also reveal that at least one such virtual meeting has taken place this year at the ASEAN level, and it was named as the First Technical Working Group Meeting for the Preparation of ASEAN’s Joint Bid for the FIFA World Cup 2034.
The meeting was held in March.
Among those who attended the meeting were Football Association of Singapore (FAS) general secretary Yazeen Buhari, and current Asean Footabll Federation chief adminstrator Winston Lee.
At least one official from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth was in attendance at this meeting.
WHY IS SINGAPORE WASTING TAXPAYERS FUNDS ON A BID FOR THE WORLD CUP?
With so much baseline work to be done to improve the state of the game in Singapore, any move by the FAS along with the support of the Singapore Government, which would inadvertently involve taxpayers’ contributions, should be dismissed.
In a news report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the billionaire Thohir (photo below) said that Indonesia is currently in discussions with Australia about a possible joint bid to host the 2034 World Cup along with Malaysia and Singapore.
World football’s governing body FIFA invited member associations from Asia and Oceania to bid for the rights to the 2034 edition last week.
So far, Saudi Arabia has stated publicly that it is keen to submit a bid to host the event.
“We are discussing (a bid) with Australia,” PSSI President Erick Thohir was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.
“When I visited Malaysia and Singapore both countries expressed interest to join Indonesia and Australia,” he added.
When asked for comment on a possible joint bid, Football Australia referred Reuters to a statement that said it was “exploring the possibility of bidding for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup and/or the FIFA World Cup 2034”.
Spain, Morocco and Portugal are hosting the 2030 World Cup, with Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina staging the opening games.
The last World Cup in 2022 was hosted by Qatar.
FIFA have set a deadline of 31 October for other interested nations or parties to make their intentions known.
“I think FIFA will see that the Middle East area has been the host with Qatar last year,” added Thohir.
“Japan and Korea have been host too.
“I am sure FIFA will try other countries.
“The potential to win if we join with Australia, Malaysia and Singapore is bigger too.”
GOAL 2034 ALL OVER AGAIN
News about ASEAN making a play to host the World Cup is not new.
ASEAN’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup was first mooted by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting Retreat and Special Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council in January 2011 in Lombok, Indonesia.
Then at the 34th ASEAN Summit on 23 June 2019 in Bangkok, ASEAN leaders welcomed the shared wish of ASEAN to develop a joint bid to host a FIFA World Cup.
Subsequently in August 2019, then FAS-vice president Edwin Tong made a call for Singapore to try and qualify for the World Cup, a move which did not go down too well with the public, given the state of the game in Singapore.
FIFA and ASEAN also signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2019, which called for the boosting of the popularity of the sport in ASEAN.
Unleash The Roar, a national movement funded by the Singaporean taxpayers was subsequently born, with the aim of improving the standard of football in Singapore.
Instead of trying to aim for the World Cup, perhaps the national football body should come up with a plan to win the gold at the Southeast Asian Games in 2029 instead, given that Singapore will be the hosts.
MAIN PHOTO: AL ARABIYA