Dr M: Malaysia welcomes joint Asean bid to host 2034 World Cup

BANGKOK (Bernama): Malaysia welcomes Asean's move to launch a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034, a first for the region.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad said five Asean countries had mooted the idea during the 34th Asean Summit here on Sunday (June 23).

"We felt that alone (single nation bids), we will never have the chance to host the World Cup. Maybe (with) all Asean together, we will be able to hold the World Cup.

"Of course, games can be played in all Asean countries, like when Japan and South Korea played host in 2002," he told the Malaysian media after concluding his four-day visit to the kingdom.

Earlier, Asean chairman Gen Prayuth Chan o-cha said all 10 member countries had agreed to launch a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034.

"I wish to inform our Asean people that today, the leaders supported the shared wish of Asean to develop a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034.

"In this regard, I wish to invite all Asean people to collectively support the national football associations of Asean member states with a view of realising this dream together," said Prayuth, who is Thai prime minister, said at a press conference.

Last year, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who was a former FIFA executive committee member, said Malaysia could be part of a joint bid from four Asean countries to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

The media reported the King as saying that the football governing bodies from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam had expressed their interest in a joint bid for the global sporting event.

Although he was unsure then about Malaysia's stand on the matter, he felt that Malaysia should face no problems co-hosting the event. – Bernama

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