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Football Australia CEO James Johnson

Football Australia CEO Addresses FIFA World Cup Bid

F
ootball Australia chief executive officer, James Johnson, said Australia’s bid to host the 2030 or 2034 FIFA World Cup was taken “a little out of context.” 

In a press conference, Johnson addressed media reports stating Australia was in contention to host the FIFA World Cup in as soon as nine years’ time.

Johnson said: “The next time we can realistically host the World Cup is in 2034.”

He stated the 2030 tournament was likely to go to Europe or South America.

Johnson continued: “Just to be clear, we’re not bidding for the World Cup [at this stage].”

“It’s an aspiration, it’s part of the vision.

“But the way these competitions get won is that the conversations behind closed doors start a decade before,” he said.

The speculation was likely due to Johnson’s comments to The Australian, where he said, “I have started (working on a possible bid) for 2030… I feel we have got to start.” 

“We are quietly working away and with the women’s World Cup in 2023, that is a big opportunity for us (as) FIFA will have an office in (Sydney),” he told The Australian. 

Johnson has since cleared his words stating any future solo bids were likely unsuccessful, “I do think [any future bid] would be in partnership,” he told the press.

“If we can deliver the best Women’s World Cup (in 2023), it does give you a better chance to host more (international) competitions,” Johnson said. 

Australia’s joint bid with New Zealand to host the 2023 Women’s World Cup was confirmed successful last year, with Johnson pointing to this as a step in the right direction for future opportunities. 

Johnson told The Australian: “And there’s a trend.” 

“Look at Canada, which hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2015, and 11 years later they’re going to host the men’s World Cup with the US (and Mexico). 

“Look at Brazil, they hosted the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016,” he said. 

So while there is no current bid to host the 2030 or 2034 FIFA World Cup, Johnson believes the country is putting itself in a greater position for future proposals. 

“The more top competitions we’re able to deliver as a code, and as a country, the better we’ll be placed to host future tournaments,” Johnson told the press.